What makes you feel good?
Not what makes you happy, or what do you find pleasurable, but what makes your life feel good?
What activities do you partake in to keep your sanity? Or what keeps you grounded in life?
How do you cope with stress and the junk that life throws at you?
I have several coping mechanisms I use. I should say I have several healthy coping mechanisms I employ that I want to share with you. The term coping mechanism comes from psychology and it refers to behaviors we employ to allow is to navigate stressful/difficult situations without being harmed mentally and emotionally. As you can imagine there are healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms. We all use them, every one of us.
The hard thing to do is to take an honest inventory to determine what ours are and whether they are healthy or not.
What perplexes me about me coping mechanisms is how easily I cast aside the healthy ones and just do nothing. Stress can cripple us if we let it. That’s exactly what happens when we don’t cope. We melt down, break down and become crippled, frozen unable to move forward (or backward for that matter).
Here are few of my healthy ones (in no particular order):
- Scripture study- It can’t be stressed enough the value of closely listening to the Word of God and allowing it actively transform your life.
- Prayer- On the heels of hearing God’s word, is hearing his voice and Spirit move through your life. Without constant conversation with God it would be impossible to know and hear the movement of God in our lives.
- Reading Books- Reading is a good way to sharpen our mind, leaner new concepts and challenge the ways we think. Reading becomes a conversational interaction in which we can dialogue with a larger community.
- Running- The release of endorphins and adrenalin is unmatched in its therapeutic value.
- Writing- There is something about actively contributing to humanity that makes writing so dang sexy.
- Playing with my boys- Quality time spent with the boys and Ronda is never a bad idea. It is always good to take time to be with family.
- Community- Being able to share life with other people is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. Sharing life, the good and bad times together, to know that we are not islands unto ourselves has great value. God created us as communal beings, so we are living the way we were created to live when we live in community. Sharing, encouraging and walking together so no one has to go alone is critical.
- Counseling – Never tried it? You are truly missing out. An unbiased third party to unjudgingly hear about the garbage that causes you to lay awake at night… where’s the downside to this. Stigma? Come on, everyone is in therapy and/or on medication.
What do you use? How do you make it through the days? Don’t have any ways? You can steal some of mine.