“When you know better, you do better” – Maya Angelou
Though these words were not spoken with a perspective on mental health in mind, they could not ring more true in this context. Anxiety, depression, relationship difficutlies, and other mental health issues are extremely prevelant. However, there’s a reason many of us don’t end up in a psychiatric hospital or necessarily feel that we need ongoing mental health treatment, including therapy, despite these struggles many of us face at some point in our lives.
At some point during a flare up, no matter how hard things are, we are usually able to behave skilfully, at least a little bit. Even if you are floundaring, that moment where you called your mother for support (instead of continuing to cry in the fetal position) was a moment of skilfullness. Even if you have been screaming at the top of your lungs all day in rage about getting fired, that few moments you took to take a shower and eat dinner was a moment of skilfullness. The point is, even when we are struggling we are usually able to behave skilfully at least a little bit, albiet some more than others.
While learning new ways of coping is extremely important in improving mental health, equally important is learning to notice and understand what it is that we are already doing, without even realizing it, that is keeping us going. Once we begin to notice these times of healthy coping we can start to do it on purpose during times when we might otherwise not be. I call this concept, conscious coping. It is an important thing to start to learn and integral to anyone’s toolbox as they start to try to improve their mental health.
Want to learn more about how you can build on what you already may be doing to better comabt depression, anxiety, or relationship issues? Interested to improve your own conscious coping? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (646) 653-4397 .
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