Top 10 Healthy Coping Skills and Activities

Everyone has coping skills, whether they are is healthy or unhealthy. It’s how we manage with stress or trauma in a situation. Some unhealthy examples would be self-harm or isolation. While these might feel relieving in the moment, they can cause emotional or physical problems into the future. Some healthy coping skills that people use often are coloring and listening to music. You see, you can’t depend on those too much because there might be a situation where those items aren’t available. Here are a few examples of coping skills you can do in just about any situation.
The Top Ten
1 Breathing

This one seems the most obvious. Breathing can slow your heart rate, which causes you to calm down. It does not take much to do this. You literally breathe slowly in and out, and things will come out better.

2 Meditation

There's a stereotype with meditation that you're sitting on the floor going "om". In reality, there's more to it. Get in the most comfortable way you can, and you can learn ways to meditate on your own or with a track.

3 Counting

If you're feeling very anxious in a situation, you can count forwards, backwards, or whatever. Counting causes you to think about something else instead of stressing out about the current situation.

4 Yoga

Yoga is a relaxing activity where you're able to stretch your muscles and calm down. Nothing in yoga is rushed, and nothing has to be perfect. Just as long as you're getting the needs you need for your psychological health, then you're fine. Doing it in a group or by yourself works just fine.

5 Exercise

Exercise works quite the opposite of yoga. Let's say you're having negative thoughts that cloud you. If you're exercising, then you'll mostly be thinking about how you want to stop exercising and how tired you are instead. It stalls it off for a little bit, but at one point, you need to use a different method.

Exercise definitely helps a lot, especially during these times. Even just playing Wii Fit can help.

6 Journaling

Writing down how your day went and your emotions works well if no one is there for you. You can see how you went and see improvement. If you are feeling angry, you can write down those negative thoughts and crumple up the paper, so then you don't relapse into hostile behavior.

7 Positive Self Talk

If you're in a place of insecurity or anxious, positive self-talk works. If you have a mirror, it works even better. Having those positive thoughts said out loud cancels the negativity and will make you feel better about yourself. The more you say something, the more your brain will believe it.

8 Tapping

This can be healthy and unhealthy. If you lightly tap your shoe or the desk, it's fine, but if it's disrupting another person's focus or workplace, then that shouldn't be your go-to.

9 Identifying Things

Identifying things instead of self-harm is a great idea. Take a moment and look at your surroundings and identify them. What's the shape, color, what does it do, what does it look like, etc. It's giving your brain a moment to slow down and process things.

10 Daydreaming

Stopping things to just daydream sounds like laziness, but it really works. Thinking of imaginary stories and fun situations is cool and gets your brain off. Note, this one won't work for everyone, especially if you're facing trauma.

The Contenders
11 Crying
12 Watching TV
13 Talking with a Friend
14 Art/writing
15 Writing a Gratitude List
16 Seeing a Counselor
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