Simple Coping Strategies to Change the World
Ever notice how some of the simplest things in life are actually the hardest? For example, just say no to drugs. Simple, but anyone who has tried knows how challenging that is. This is true whether we talk about cocaine, alcohol, cigarettes or sugar. Why does our brain tell us to do things that, frankly, are not in our best interest? Why are these negative habits so hard to break?
The answer to that question is beyond the scope of this blog, but I do know these bad habits are often developed before we have a clear recognition of how harmful they can be. The other thing I know is that people need tools and strategies to change these habits and cope with life in a more positive way.
My two favorite coping strategies are simple and to be honest, they are pretty easy to do.
- Smile! Put a smile on your face. You don’t have to feel happy to start smiling, but if you walk around with a smile, you will find others will smile back at you. With happiness, joy will grow and spread.
- Breathe! When you start to feel stress (agitation, tension, etc), practice taking a few deep breaths. Focus on your breathing, and even consider counting to five with slow deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling for relaxation.
That seems easy. Just smile and breathe, which you’ve been doing since you were an infant. Despite this, people still need to practice. Here are some additional steps you can take to improve your life.
- Practice. Set aside 5 minutes four times every day, to practice breathing exercises. Set a timer, find a quiet, comfortable spot, close your eyes and breathe. Inhale and exhale. Focus just on your breathing and count to 5 as you inhale, and 5 again as you exhale. Keep doing this in almost a meditative or rhythmic manner.
- Remember. Put sticky notes where you can see them to remind yourself to smile. Consider putting one on your bathroom mirror, above the kitchen sink, or on the microwave. But please note, put a smile on your face at all times.
Sounds simple or maybe even a bit strange ? It is, but try it. It may not change the whole world, or solve major societal problems, but perhaps it will brighten up your day and reduce your stress in difficult situations. And unlike every medication or treatment, there are zero downsides.
This may be a good start, but if your depression or anxiety is still overwhelming, call the professionals at Ketamine Wellness Centers. Adding an effective medication treatment can give you the boost you need to start seeing the benefit from simple coping strategies. But until then, smile and breathe!
Dr. Ellen Diamond is the Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers