Stress can change the way your brain operates, but also affect how you cope everyday with work, family, friends and managing yourself.
There are factors that can place an individual at risk for poor mental health – in particular, individuals that utilise negative coping skills are less able to deal with stress. Negative coping skills can threaten not just the individual’s mental health, but also their physical health. It is important to maintain both good psychological wellbeing and physical health because the two are so closely interlinked.
The goal of intervention and prevention is to reduce stress and restore normal processes in your brain and body. There is nothing worse than living in constant stress and anxiety. It is exhausting and impacts on all aspects of your life, including family, work, relationships, your ability to cope with life changes and your overall sense of wellbeing.
The Key to Good Mental Health
Becoming resilient and learning positive coping skills is a way to deal with stressful situations. Learning and continuing good coping skills does take practice, but it becomes easier over time and as you get used to using them. Just like driving a car, the actions you take become automatic the more you use them.
Most importantly, good coping skills make for good mental health wellness.
There are also many negative coping skills, which can hinder progress in dealing more positively with stress. Actions that are harmful to both mental and physical health include:
- Denial or avoiding problems;
- Unhealthy eating and becoming sedentary;
- Using illicit drugs and alcohol;
- Ignoring or storing hurt feelings;
- Excessive working; and on the list goes.
These actions offer only temporary relief, if any, from stress and distress. Ignoring or covering up how you feel does not solve the problem.
Also the next time the situation arises, you will still have no way of dealing with it.
Positive Coping Skills
Psychological intervention can help you to identify life stressors, manage stress, and to learn and practice new, positive coping skills. These might include:
- Learning about yourself and stressful reactions;
- Building confidence;
- Self acceptance and self esteem;
- Using support;
- Giving to others;
- Learning to identify and accept unpleasant feelings, moods and stressful events;
- Learning to relax;
- Self-regulating emotions;
- Changing your thinking;
- Problem solving;
- Positive goal setting;
- Increasing motivation.
Developing coping skills like these leads to good mental health and a happier, more resilient you. Resilient people harness inner strengths and rebound more quickly from a setback, changes or challenges.
In contrast, people who are less resilient may dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed and turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Resilience will not necessarily make problems go away, but it will allow you to see past them, find some enjoyment in life, and handle the future more effectively.
Take control of yourself and your life. Everyone wants to be the best parent, partner, friend, worker and overall person they can!
To build resilience and feel mentally well, please feel free to make an appointment with me.
Author: Trudy Sheffield, B Beh Sc (1st Class Hons).
Trudy Sheffield is a passionate and motivated psychologist, who works to develop people to find solutions to life disturbances and live to their potential. Trudy is experienced in counselling, clinical and forensic psychology.
To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Trudy Sheffield, freecall 1800 877 924 or book online today!