What Do Your Coping Mechanisms Do For You?


What do your coping mechanisms do for you?

Healthy, unhealthy, favourite, best, worst, occasional, avoided, changing… they all do SOMETHING for us, or we wouldn’t use them.

I’ll throw mine up here a bit later. This is something I’ve thought of off&on throughout the years -and even worked my ass off on; to switch things out, to avoid consequences I don’t want; or to implement on purpose, to gain advantage I DO want- but as many times as I’ve thought about starting a thread on it? Never quite remember unless it’s an emergency and I can’t even remember what works, what doesn’t, and why. Since I’m (touch wood!) in a bit of an alright place? Figured now’s a great time to kick knowledge around. The good, the bad, the OMFG not again, the surprising, the solid.


My coping mechanisms keep me functioning and able to live and meet the demands of life.

Healthy Coping: This is really the basics of making sure I drink enough water, eat three healthy meals each day, get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Keeping physically healthy helps me maintain mental and emotional stability.

Healthy Stress Management: Making sure that I get outside and just breathe and take in the beauty of a sunrise, sunset, flowers, watching dogs play, squirrels or anything that is nature related.

Healthy Tools: Grounding and making sure that I am in the present and employing all of my senses.

Unhealthy Coping: Working...drug of choice. I can literally forget to eat, consume huge amounts of coffee and caffeinated drinks, and so sleep doesn't happen until I drop. Downside is the mental and emotional instability that happens after, but the upside is I don't take it out on people and its productive.

Unhealthy Stress Management: Assuming the worst case and make contingency plans and not just one, but at least three. Huge waste of mental energy.

Tools your therapist won't tell you about:

Driving down country roads with the windows down, music cranked and singing at the top of your lungs.
Busting caps
Go to the shelter playing/walking cats, dogs, puppies, kittens
Really making a difference in someone's life....becoming a pen pal for a senior that doesn't have close family, helping a mom at the stupid self check outs that's trying to scan with children in a melt down, leave fresh cut flowers on the doorstep of a friend that's feeling down with a note of why they are important to you, bake or make someone's favorite for no reason....doing something good for someone else is great medicine for yourself.


They help me slide into a better head space. Happy and relaxed. Joking with the dentist. Keeping more positive. Everything else seems to pull itself up and I can keep hyper-vigilance down, or better put, to slow it down. To reduce stress.
What it really does though is increase cognition. When you make that connection it makes coping start to work because you have a key. In turn I am less stressed, I function better and best of all I don't have to work on cognition all the time. That's my fight right now. To work on monitoring cognition and recognize when its slipping. Then empty the stress cup by grounding and going to positive thoughts.

The positive list works well to help too.


They help me survive, to cope with the overwhelming thoughts and feelings that hit me. They keep me from disassociating and from having a panic attack. They help calm me when it gets to be too much. I feel too much, and I just want to numb and make it all go away.

Healthy coping:

Breathing. You can call it breath work or whatever you want, but taking slow deep breaths, the more exaggerated the better, really helps me more than anything.

Taking a break. This comes in a couple of forms. I have a hard time giving myself a break or any time off from anything. So taking days off work (and not feeling guilty), taking a 10 minute time out (often to breathe), walking away from stressful conversations.

I write either my thoughts or an account of what's happened lately to "get it out" and release some of it.

Getting outside. I call it nature therapy.

Painting. I've recently discovered this one


Eating too much, or not eating at all.
Isolating myself
Mindless scrolling on my phone to distract me