3 Coping Strategies That Make You Feel Worse in the Long Run
When life throws us a curveball, sometimes all we can do is cope. Depending on how challenging your situation is, you might find relief in healthy or unhealthy coping skills. Today’s blog will focus on the latter and explain why they’re harmful.
If you could press a button that makes you forget all about the bad thing that happened to you, would you? A lot of people wish they could ignore the problem and simply move on. It’s not always a conscious effort; in some cases, avoidance is a defence mechanism against a traumatic memory. Unfortunately, although this method alleviates stress, it’s just a short-term solution and the problem will resurface sooner or later, except it will be difficult to deal with the longer you wait. Avoidance might look like drinking alcohol to prevent your mind from revisiting the memory, oversleeping to stop thinking about your problems or refusing to talk about them.
2. Social comparison
Do you ever just find yourself reading about other people’s problems or tragic news when you aren’t doing so well? Seeking this kind of social comparison to prove to yourself that other people have it worse might boost your mood at first but might also backfire when you come across the opposite; someone whose life seems to be much better than yours. If the way you feel about yourself depends on other people’s successes and failures, you might struggle to be happy because you reinforce your inferiority complex at the same time.
Isolating yourself from others is one of the most popular coping strategies when you suffer from depression or when you’ve recently gone through a breakup. It makes sense in a way, if you feel bad about yourself or if people hurt you, why bother to engage in social interaction at all? Unfortunately, people are social creatures whose one of the primary needs is connection, no matter how much they appreciate solitude. Additionally, building social network can help you build resilience and if you constantly avoid interaction because of your past experience, you might condition yourself to give up whenever there’s a chance of failure or being rejected.
If these coping strategies sound familiar and you’d like to learn how to resolve problems in a healthier way, consider seeking therapy. Contact My Family Psychologist to see how we can help