Hello All! Here is a blog with some ways that todays guest blogger, Jessica, has learned how to cope with her ED.
She enjoys organizing, listening to country music, reading, learning, taking pictures, creating this or that, or just relaxing as she currently writes poetry and a blog.
With the busyness of our lives, changes often occur and anxiety and stress levels can increase. I find it helpful to take a few moments to myself and reflect upon the situation. We all face situations at times that are uncontrollable. With my personal struggle with acceptance, anxiety, and questionable moods, I find it helpful to use coping skills to assist with pace and balance in life. It may be hard distinguishing between self-care and obligations. As this was brought to my attention with professional help, I experienced with seeing life one way only and finding variety hard resulting in overthinking, mentally and emotionally. With help and seeking my inner self, I learned coping skills are priceless and lifetime guaranteed. There are hundreds of different ways you can cope through a situation of reading, music, baking, sports, etc. but here are some interpersonal coping skills that continue to help me along:
Commitment. With hindering anxiety or stress , try to take charge of the situation and continue on with the plan. Part of recovery and getting better is continuing therapy or meetings; therefore, make a list of goals and commit to each one in a timely manner. You got this!
Index cards. Write fun things you like to do on index cards and drop into a jar. When in need, pick one and follow through.
Breathing. Deep breaths of breathing in positivity and exhaling negativity.
Wise mind. Think before acting. When caught up in a moment, reactions may differ than the wise choice. Before rationalizing, try to think more wisely.
Observe, notice, describe. Look around. Find an object. Describe it by color, shape, etc. as the mind relaxes and anxiety is eased.
Participate, engage, experience. Be in the moment. Listen carefully. Speak up.
Mindfulness. It can be helpful to focus on the moment. If coloring, feel the color. Get in sync with the activity or hobby. Become one with the task.
Nonjudgemental. No judgment zone. Describe something without pointing out any negatives. This helps to improve positive thinking. As humans, judgment can be quick as it just happens.
One-mindfully. Instead of multi-tasking, try putting whole effort into one task. Know the reason. Speak the purpose. Let the feeling of how being in one with the matter at hand.
Effectively. Use your time wisely. It is possible to do something so fast and forget it. Take time.
Urge surfing. Feel an urge of some sort? Shh…quiet as sitting riding that wave of hurt and pain. It may feel like forever but give it a good two minutes.
Alternate rebellion. There is a possibility to want to go against something or someone. Do not react but rethink the situation. Find an appropriate way thinking it through before reacting.
Love your emotions. Crying in public may be hard or seen with judgment as there is a time and place. If the time comes, it is okay. Crying releases unwanted stored up negative energy in your body. Let it flow through tears. Tears are cleansing. It can be hard speaking about deep feelings as quietly going through the emotion can be a teaching moment.
Identify your emotions. Ask yourself, what am I feeling? Write them all down to see them. For each feeling or emotion listed, try writing what the emotion is linked to as this can help pinpoint the possible trigger.
Function your emotions. Become one with emotions. If anger, try going outside to yell at the clouds instead of others. If you crying, cry. If overwhelmed, try taking a few minutes (not a whole day) to sit it out or go for a walk. You can do it!
Reduce vulnerability. There is the possibility of opening up to help release emotions. This can be hard and questionable. If so, try journaling or art. This will help release some built up tension and still be able to express as open as possible.
Build mastery. Listening, learning, and doing sound so simple yet feel complicated. Try with a slow start of taking one step at a time and studying. Practice a skill through setting small reachable goals to become closer to the big goals (some call a dream). Breaking down small goals into simpler tasks may make each accomplished task easier to take on and handle. Just remember how a house is built and all the steps. Just as a house has foundation: You are the foundation in life, have fun creating and decorating your space!
Build positive experience. From every negative is a positive. From every struggle, strength is formed. After a storm, a rainbow may occur. With every small step toward your future, experience may create a person who for they are. If having negatives feelings or thoughts, try creating one to two positive ones. With society and judgment all around, try seeking the bright side of it by using the negative energy to feed the positive creating change.
Mindful positive experience. Think of all the colors, people, nature, or creations around. See the brightness of the sun, the vibrant color of the flower, the smells, and the sounds. For each, try naming one positive word that relates the object becoming more mindful.
Opposite to emotion action. Emotion may want something other than what the mind knows best as emotions may speak louder than the wise mind. Try to take action without the emotion by bringing the mind into focus and reasonable.
Observe your breathing. Deep breath…hold for 4 seconds…exhale for 7…inhale 8 seconds…repeat. This may help bring heart rate down and ease anxiety.
Half-smile. Even the weakest moments, a smile may be seen. Not a smirk but slight curve of the lips. This may seem like an act but give it a try and be in the moment. This might improve mood.
Awareness exercises. Try taking notice of the surroundings. Look around and take in the smells. Feel the textures and listen for all noise. Try closing the eyes for better listening. As one sense is eliminated, another may become stronger. Be still in the moment.
Willingness. Go into each day with positivity. You got this. You are loved. Try by starting with small reachable goals as striving for the stars but remembering it takes time and no straight path to them. Therefore, plan a path.
Burning your bridges. Turn away from the old can be hard. Not all past experiences can just be burned, or buried, away; therefore, work through them with therapy. For individual coping, try taking notes or talk it over with someone.
Distract. Try finding something to do, especially with using the hands. Try keeping busy or moving as not specifically exercise but such as walking around the block, watching a new movie, or playing with the family pet. Just simple and little things may take attention away from what you want to do, inappropriately.
Self-soothe. Try to think of an enjoyable moment and try it out such as a warm bath, a cool shower, or a nap. Or just simply c the eyes for a couple minutes as this may help with refocusing and re-centering.
Improve the moment. Be the change in the moment. With many emotions, it may feel like an everlasting moment. Just one small improvement can make a big difference. Keep it simple, achievable and appropriate.
Pros and cons. If a moment feels bad or uncomfortable, try thinking of 2-3 pros and 2-3 cons. Usually, more pros than cons may come to mind. Most the time, for every con is a pro. It is just simply taking account for what is happening within the moment.
Coping ahead (not to confuse with future tripping). If a moment is to come that can lead to a trigger, try having a plan of 2-3 coping skills to use as backup. Try not to over analyze as this may cause future tripping, which is seeing too much into the future with negativity.
Practicing. Saying goes “practice makes perfect” but there is nothing perfect in this world. Therefore, practice until it feels as second nature, or as normal as possible. Practice takes progression. One moment at a time. One task at a time. One day at a time.
Self-evaluate. Take some time to look and stand in the moment. Moments may past by quicker than thinking as forgetting about oneself. Try to take this time to seek into your inner self to help re-center as you can look back on other coping skills.
Track. Try to keep a record, mentally or physically, to help with practicing and visualizing progress. It may be hard to accept a change as it is said “do something for 21 days and it becomes a habit.” Allow time for change. Try writing one goal of the day in the morning such as shake someone’s hand. At the end of the day, look back at the goal and write explanation. You can strong and courageous!
Gratitude. There is so much to be thankful for as the air available to breathe to the beat of the heart. Try to name three things to be grateful for. As waking each day may be overlooked but an amazing to be gifted another day.
Jessicas Blog is http://www.heartlyinspired.blogspot.com/