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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Favorite coping mechanisms - February 13th 2022, 02:25 AM

What are everyone's favorite coping mechanisms for mental health?

There's this one we learned in group therapy that I'd like to try. Basically she had us all list as many foods as we could that begin with the letter "c." You can do it with any letter, or you can change the category completely. For example you can list all animals that start with the letter "b," etc. It seemed like a good distraction technique and I'd like to try it.

I also need to continue to do the 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste thing.

Besides that I play on my Switch or phone, or read/listen to audiobooks, and am trying out the "This is not forever" mantra.

Does anyone know any breathing exercises that work for them? I have a hard time with these.

I thought this thread may be a great place to share new coping mechanisms so others can learn too.


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 13th 2022, 02:42 AM

This has shifted a lot for me over time, and depending on the situation I am at and where I am mentally.

I am a big fan of DBT, generally speaking. There's lots of skills that are a part of it, and many of them are things we already do without realizing it, but I like skills that ground me, more often than not. So I enjoy skills that involve things like temperature (holding ice, or taking a cold shower), exercise (something that accelerates the heart rate for a short period of time, like dancing or calisthenics), or activities that involve using my body- yoga, walking, art projects, etc.

I also like 5,4,3,2,1- name five things you see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. You can do this literally anywhere in any situation you are in to ground yourself. I also like doing things like picking out how many objects there are of one color in a room, or tapping my fingers together and counting them.

When in a lower level of distress, I enjoy mindfulness, specifically mindful breathing involving either counting breaths or breathing a positively affirming phrase in and another one out. I also like imagining breathing in a color that brings me peace and comfort, and breathing out a color I associate with whatever unpleasant or distressing emotion I am experiencing in the moment.

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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 13th 2022, 05:41 PM

Quote:
or tapping my fingers together and counting them.
I do that sometimes and never even realized it could be a coping mechanism!


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 13th 2022, 06:48 PM

I love square breathing and 5-4-3-2-1 grounding for when I'm having anxiety or need to center myself quick and/or out in public.

https://www.healthline.com/health/bo...ld-your-breath
https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/behav...r-anxiety.aspx

I'm not someone that can easily meditate so my therapist suggested bilateral stimulation music which has been great for me to relax every night. You can find playlists on spotify and youtube by searching EMDR music or bilateral stimulation music.


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 15th 2022, 07:23 AM

I'm very good at distracting myself. I tend to play a lot of games, write, read, listen to music, take photos, spend time with friends and family, spend time in the great outdoors or go to the gym.


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 15th 2022, 09:17 PM

Writing. Just writing everything out. Whether it's a rant, something I'm confused about, my true feelings, my ideas and plans for the future. I find I'm very self-reflective when I'm writing!

And even better when I can share my writing with trusted people


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 15th 2022, 10:57 PM

Quote:
I love square breathing
My group therapist told me she likes square breathing but also likes triangle breathing a lot. I guess breathing comes in many shapes! I tend to yawn when I try breathing techniques, does that go away with practice?


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 20th 2022, 01:37 AM

I'm supposed to work on "belly breathing" for pt, but it is also helpful for mental health.

My favorites are to write, walk, or be with nature/spend time with my pets. Getting out of the house or listening to music are good distractions for me too. Watching TV and thinking about what makes me feel safe, and then recreating it is useful.

As far as what I want to try - meditation and yoga are my priority but I haven't had the time. Are there any new coping skills you all have been thinking about trying?


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 20th 2022, 04:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynefin View Post
As far as what I want to try - meditation and yoga are my priority but I haven't had the time. Are there any new coping skills you all have been thinking about trying?
I don't know if it's exactly a coping skill, but my goal is to do more art. I tend to only draw or paint when I feel incredibly emotional, but only when I feel a certain "kind" of emotional, if that makes sense. But I think whenever I feel an emotion and have the ability it would be cool to draw or paint or do something, because it not only distracts from it, but making art brings me joy. I've always loved art therapy, and doing art on my own. It's an important part of my mental wellbeing and I want to do more of it.
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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 20th 2022, 06:58 PM

Like Holly, my go-to coping mechanism is writing. I find it extremely helpful to just write, without thinking about what is being put on the Word document, whatever emotions I am feeling and whatever thoughts I am having. It's very cathartic, and very rarely do I look at it afterwards; but it helps me sort through the chaos in my mind and any negative feelings or tension in my bones.


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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - February 23rd 2022, 09:24 PM

The 5-4-3-2-1 is one of my favourite things I do !
Or just tapping my fingers, listening to music (like very loud and singing), belly breathing or just drawing with watercolor, apps like Finch/rootd etc.



And the worst part is
before it gets any better we're headed for a cliff.
And in the free fall
I will realise I'm better off
when I hit the bottom.


this is how we dance when they try to take us down.



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Re: Favorite coping mechanisms - June 20th 2022, 01:09 AM

Walking away from the problem so not to get angry
Reading
Listening to music
Talking to somebody like a trusted friend/family member
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