As we move through the world, we develop coping mechanisms for everyday situations. We create narrative and behaviors to deal with our circumstances. Some coping mechanisms are positive and healthy. The coping mechanisms that we should work on are the negative ones that lead to harming ourselves or others.
What are your positive coping mechanisms? What are your harmful ones?
Habits are formed through repetition in response to our experiences. Our coping mechanisms inform the habits we develop. If we respond to rejection by trying to hurt others, that response is reinforced through repetition and can become a habit if the loop is not interrupted. Though this is a negative example, there are ways to shift these responses into positive habits.
Below is a list of potentially harmful habits, but rest assured that these are not forever, they can be changed if you do the work to change them. Attached to these habits are tips to reframe or change them into healthier habits.
The way we speak to ourselves is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. If your inner monologue is critical, hurtful, or angry, work on reframing these thoughts. As a first step, try recognizing the negative thoughts and asking yourself, ‘how does this serve me?’
The world is filled with opportunities; whether they be social, work, or with family, it can be easy to overextend yourself. Make a schedule at the start of each week, allowing time for relaxation. This schedule can keep you in a healthy routine that does not allow you to overbook.
It is hard to let go of the past. If you find yourself feeling guilty or stuck about past situations, look into Radical Acceptance as a way to move forward.
Let yourself feel the way you feel! You can’t change your personal reactions, but you can control how you react towards others.
At the end of each day, make a list of 3 things you are proud of each day. Soon, you will come to appreciate the small achievements, as well as the big ones.
This work does not happen overnight. Keep working at these small changes until they become habits.
Photo Credit: Canva
Written by Jessy Pucker, LMSW