Coping Tips

When life gets difficult it can help to have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you feel better. The mind and body are not just connected, they are one. So doing something to help your body also helps your mind to cope.

1. Close your eyes, relax your hands, stomach and forehead and breathe

2. Feel your feet touching the floor and/or the chair supporting you. Pay attention to each part of your body that is touching the floor or chair.

3. Exercise. Really feel the emotion as you work your body. Try to pound the feeling out of your body and into the earth when you are running.

4. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee drink or an herbal tea.

5. Smell something that smells nice- bake cookies, spray perfume etc.

6. Cook a special meal. The chopping can be soothing and the pleasure of eating delicious food that you have prepared will help you to cope.

7. Tell yourself: “This too shall pass” or “nothing that feels bad is ever the last step.”

8. Think of the good parts of the upsetting event. For example, if you have an unexpectedly high tax bill to pay, think of the good that can come out of it: “my tax dollars are going to feed hungry children.” Realize that your earning potential is much higher then that bill and you will continue to make money. That bill may feel painful but in the long run it is unlikely to cause significant damage. Or, if you lose your job, think of it as a chance to reinvent yourself and find a position that better suits your skills and dreams.

9. Remember: most things that people worry about never come to pass.

10. In three months from now whatever that thing is that had you so upset will be a thing of the past and will probably not cross your mind again or affect your life significantly.

11. Understand your feelings. E.g.: does money represent life or death to you? It is really just green pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents.

12. Think about your family of origin and their influence on you. E.g.: “My mother freaked out every time she had an unexpected bill and so every time I have an unexpected bill I feel unsafe.”

13. If you can’t change it, accept it as if you had chosen it.

14. If something has already happened acknowledge that you don’t possess a time machine and you can’t change it. Now don’t waste another minute worrying about it.

15. Ask yourself: “What is lacking at this moment?” If something is lacking: “Can I deal with it in this moment only, not next week or month or year?” Remember, next week or month or year will also occur to you as a moment. You don’t have to deal with all future moments right now. You can only deal with the present moment.

16. Prioritize: what is most important to you? Are those people/things intact?

17. Think about the good that you already have in your life.

18. Talk to someone who is calm, who can help you see that the upsetting event is not as bad as it feels in the moment and will pass.

19. Rely on comforting relationships, turn to those who can help you feel better.