Diversify Your Coping Skills

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If you’ve watched Limitless you’ll probably agree that the concept of taking one pill to make you brilliant, happy and invincible is not a new one. Like the “fountain of youth” we’re always looking for that magic elixir that will make us younger and more beautiful, or the best medically crafted and extensively researched pill that can make us not only exceptionally happy but also elevate our IQ to a level that provides us with solutions to all of life’s problems and removes from our mind all doubt in our abilities.

The popular trend heads more towards a culture obsessed with organic living, one that praises the holistic, go-green, recycle, anti-dairy, gluten-free, take-your-vitamins-and-herbs, and don’t-forget-to-consume-only-organic/non-pesticide-riddled-food. Others find a bit more comfort in modestly embracing the organic trend, realizing that not everything prescribed by our doctor or psychiatrist is necessarily horrible or evil. I believe in a customizable approach to life, where people ought to realize that they’re individuals and that not just one solution fits everyone.

This is why I’m a firm believer in doing your absolute best to diversify your coping skills. While a healthy diet is important, so is staying fit, getting plenty of rest, talk therapy, spending time with friends and family, and continuing to expand your support system network. For some of us that have battled depression, it’s vital to understand our triggers as well as keep a record of what has worked for us in the past and what has not. The more coping skills you can go to the better.

I’ve spoken to so many people who swear that they’ve changed their entire lives by changing their diet. Some people swear by a slew of regimens: vegan; vegetarian; raw; pescetarian; macrobiotic; Atkins high-protein, low-carb diet; the zone diet; the all-fruit diet; and calorie counting. I am sure there are more out there I haven’t listed.

Others swear that after they’ve given up social media that their life has improved. Or maybe they’ve done away with cable, the Internet and technology, in general. By unplugging they’ve become a totally different person.

A big item that carries a lot of weight is someone’s job. A career change can affect someone for the good or bad. But regardless of what it is, the more you count on just one thing to fill your happiness quota the harder it is to attain happiness or fulfillment. Because everything relies on that one thing though it’s the same with coping with depressive episodes. If you rely on just medication, it’s not always the most reliable method in paving a way to healing.

The Bottom Line:

Some people wake up and they’re just naturally happy. They love their life; they’re the happiest person you’ll ever meet. Everything seems to go their way, and every area of their life seems to be totally satisfied. Some of us, however, have to work a little harder, especially if we’re prone to depression, struggle with a mental illness, have to deal with a life-changing event or several life changing events, or still have to work through tragedies and circumstances out of our control.

My personal belief is that the more you diversify your coping skills, the more tools you have to work with and the more effective you are in combating waves of unbalanced moods. Not one pill or one diet or one organic fad will do the trick. It takes effort on our part to balance all areas of our life: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual (not necessarily religious) in order to combat emotional downs or work through the rough patches in our life.

When all else fails, focusing on the solution instead of the problem is key. We can’t always be super happy and we’re not expected to be perfect, but we can try to create a balanced perspective by challenging ourselves to have a variety of healthy coping skills to turn to in case the going gets tough.

Virginia Satir


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