Having healthy coping skills is essential to managing your mental health in healthy ways. Coping skills for mental health help you minimize, tolerate, and deal with stressful situations that can trigger mental health symptoms. Not all coping skills are the same, and sometimes it feels easier to rely on strategies that provide quick and temporary symptom relief that create more significant problems in the long run.
At Rose Hill Center, we understand that learning to manage stress and difficult situations effectively is vital for good mental health and overall well-being. Our experienced, compassionate staff help residents manage their mental health disorders by teaching healthy, practical coping skills. For 30 years, Rose Hill Center has provided high-quality, comprehensive treatment for mental health disorders and dual diagnoses. Call 866.367.0220 to learn more about our programs.
Problem-Based and Emotion-Based Coping Skills
The two main types of coping skills are problem-based coping and emotion-based coping. Understanding the difference can help you determine the best for you in different situations.
Problem-Based Coping Skills
These skills are best when you need to change your situation by removing something stressful from your life. Eliminating a source of stress from your life can mean changing your behavior or creating a plan for how you will react in a particular situation. Five of the best problem-based coping skills include:
- Establishing healthy boundaries
- Creating a to-do list
- Walking away from a stressful situation
- Asking for support from friends, family, or a professional
- Practicing time management & problem-solving skills
Emotion-Based Coping Skills
This set of skills helps you manage your feelings in healthy ways when you do not want to change your situation or when the circumstances are beyond your control. Emotion-based coping skills help soothe or distract you so that you can tolerate your distress or change your mood. Five of the best emotion-based coping skills include:
- Utilizing relaxation techniques
- Mindfulness or meditation
- Practicing self-care
- Journaling or engaging in a hobby
The right coping skill depends on the situation and your current needs. Unhealthy coping skills like drinking, smoking, using drugs, overeating, overspending, sleeping too much, or avoiding can create more significant problems that contribute to poor mental health.
Anxiety Coping Skills
Anxiety is a natural response to a stressful situation. In certain circumstances, anxiety is beneficial when it enhances performance or keeps you alert in a dangerous situation. Anxiety becomes detrimental when it is persistent, excessive, and unwarranted or interferes with your daily functioning. Anxiety disorders are very receptive to treatment.
Through anxiety treatment at Rose Hill Center, residents learn numerous anxiety coping skills, including:
- Breathing exercises – Focusing on your breath takes your mind off the anxious thought and slows your heart rate and breathing, helping you calm down.
- Cognitive reframing – This technique helps you shift your thinking to view your situation from a different perspective.
- Exercise – Physical activity diverts your focus from your mind to your body and increases the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine.
- Journaling – Seeing your thoughts and feelings written down can make them less unsettling and remove their negative power.
- Mindful meditation – This technique helps you learn to be aware of what you are feeling in the moment, without judgment or interpretation.
As with most mental health disorders, anxiety is not curable. However, through learning to access and rely on healthy coping skills, you can learn the tools to manage symptoms so that anxiety does not control your life.
Coping Skills for Depression
Depression can drain your energy, hope, and motivation, making it challenging to take steps to help yourself feel better. Sometimes just thinking about taking action to combat depression symptoms is exhausting. Recovery from depression is not quick or easy, but it is possible, even with severe or persistent depression.
You can also use all of the anxiety coping skills mentioned above to help combat the symptoms of depression. Additional coping skills for depression include:
- Staying connected – Isolation only increases depression symptoms. Support groups, volunteering, therapy, and scheduling face-to-face times can combat isolation.
- Doing things that make you feel good – Create a list of things that boost your mood and have it easily accessible. These can be as simple as watching a funny show, playing with a pet, or listening to music.
- Eating a healthy diet – Alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods affect your feelings. Avoid skipping meals, and ensure you get essential nutrients like B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Getting outside – Nature has a calming and uplifting effect on your mood. The natural vitamin D from sunshine encourages the production and release of serotonin, which improves mood.
- Challenging your thinking – Overgeneralizing, jumping to conclusions, diminishing the positive, and having all-or-nothing thinking fuel depression. Challenging negative thinking leads to better moods.
Learn Coping Skills for Better Mental Health at Rose Hill Center
At Rose Hill Center, we know that having a range of healthy coping skills helps improve your ability to manage mental health symptoms. Our expert treatment team members are skilled in teaching and reinforcing healthy coping, life, and problem-solving skills. Call us at 866.367.0220 to learn more.