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Psychological Coping Techniques

When faced with a challenging or difficult situation, there are TWO TYPES OF COPING TECHNIQUES you can use:

1) COGNITIVE TECHNIQUES and 2) PHYSICAL/ACTION TECHNIQUES

Cognitive techniques are those that involve your thinking. Generally, these are the types of techniques to use first. Here are some examples of

COGNITIVE TECHNIQUES:

1) PRIMARY TECHNIQUE

This technique has two parts: First, MAKE PEACE WITH WHAT IS. This means acknowledging and accepting whatever is happening. Second, SHIFT. This means reach for any thoughts that are more positive or optimistic and that bring relief.

2) PRESENT-MOMENT TECHNIQUE

We have three choices as to how to focus our thoughts and energy: past, present, future. Overly-focusing on the past usually includes guilt or regret and results in feeling stuck or depressed. Overly-focusing on the future usually includes worry and fear and results in feeling anxious. The healthiest way to focus is on the present. Draw yourself back to where your power lies - in your PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS. Ways to achieve this: breathing, appreciating, fully enjoying whatever activity you are doing, noticing nature, etc.

3) CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Change your thinking about the event. Instead of viewing the event as bad or negative, view it as: an opportunity of growth, an opportunity of change, an opportunity to pause/re-evaluate/re-boot, an opportunity to appreciate, etc.

4) LETTING GO

Recognize what is within your control and what is not. Do what you can and then let go of the rest.

Contemplate the Serenity Prayer: GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE, THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN, AND THE WISDOM THE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE


PHYSICAL/ACTION TECHNIQUES:

Physical techniques include action-oriented and mindful techniques. Here are some examples of 

PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES:

1) MEDITATION

2) GUIDED MEDITATION

3) BREATHING EXERCISES (4-7-8 breathing technique)

4) POSITIVE ACTIVITIES

Mindfully choose and participate in activities that bring you relief, peace, or enjoyment. Examples: exercise, take a bath, arts and crafts, listen to uplifting or calming music, watch a funny or enjoyable movie, read an enjoyable book, reach out to a friend who is positive/fun/supportive, etc.

Also apps such as Insight Timer or Calm can be very helpful resources.

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