Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Are your coping skills working for or against you?
Do you know what it takes to be resilient in a time of trauma and stress? Would you know how to be strong in the face of it all? In my practice, I see many mistakes that people make when dealing with stress, but there are two that definitely stand out. The main mistakes I see most often are: #1: Not recognizing their stress levels are affecting ALL areas of their lives. Stress doesn't just impact the immediate cause of the stress - it flows into other areas of one's life like water. Try keeping water from getting all over you once it's out of it's container. You may start to see signs, such as snapping at those around you, making mistakes at work or at home, getting sick a lot, etc. Over time, this can cause you to become less and less healthy and strong. By seeing stress for what it is, you are able to then empower yourself to take positive action to do something about it. #2: Turning their stress towards something negative, like substance abuse, overeating, lashing out at others. This negative energy generated from stress has to go somewhere, but some are not practiced enough in how to turn it to their advantage. Knowing what to do when the time calls for it can be confusing and difficult. The best way to avoid making this mistake is to first recognize that what you are feeling is, in fact, stress and anxiety. These feelings trigger your fight or flight response, and in this case you seek to avoid what is troubling you. Avoidance is what leads you to seek out ways to prevent you from dealing with what's bothering you. Instead, focus on what is important to you in that moment. Take a breath. Take a few more. Then proceed to deal with the stress in a more positive way. Examples of this would be exercising, reading religious text, meditation, or spending time with a close friend. Don't fall victim to these common mistakes. Instead, move forward positively, effectively, and with your own unique and resilient self.