Coping Skills Part 1: Control Your Body

   A lot of times our emotions seem out of control and with mental illness or any type of emotional disorder, it just feels like we’re lacking control and the best way to gain your confidence back is to get control over whatever small things you can. This session specifically is about controlling your body.  What does control your body actually mean? This group of coping mechanisms are all about doing things that promote better physical and mental well-being that involve physical action.
  One of the first ones is control what goes in to your body, so that is controlling what you eat.  A large part of our emotions is actually related to how our body is physically doing and if our body is full of junk and nonsense then our emotions are going to feel negative, down and they’re going to be out of control. 
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  There’s a study out there that pretty much says most the people in first world countries are malnourished. What does that even mean I thought malnourished meant that you  didn’t get enough to eat or you know you only ate or drank once a day or once every couple days. That actually is a part of it but it’s also not the case for most. What i’m referring to is, being malnourished means you’re not meeting the dietary requirements for your body to function as well as your body can. That means getting your vitamins, your minerals and your macronutrients.


  Just for example people with low calcium intake happen to have brittle bones, people with low vitamin c intake they end up getting ill easier. If you examine your diet ,especially if you’re in taking way too much sugar or way too much caffeine that can be one of the triggers or it can be an increased vulnerability for you and your emotions. Especially if you experience high anxiety or depression where your energy and emotion levels are on extreme ends of the spectrum. Sugar and caffeine both are stimulants, now with high anxiety you’re already high energy level you’re already agitated and caffeine and sugar can make it worse because they’re going to cause spikes in your heart rate which are probably already going on.
  When you’re feeling anxious you’re going to get a spike in your heart rate ,you’re getting a spike in your blood pressure and may even have the sweating, the heart palpitations and the clammy skin. Which can all be exacerbated by taking extra stimulants.
  With depression when you’re already feeling low, low energy, your emotions are lower. There are going to be more extreme crashes and  dependency on these caffeines and stimulants and sugars to keep you going, going, going. Guess what excess amounts of sugar this is no bueno. When we’re depending on any outside source for a specific feeling, emotion or energy then that dependency is going to be affecting the emotional disorder that we are already experiencing. I know that you love your morning coffee, or  sugar, candy, and of course chocolate. Which we all know chocolate is a fantastic coping mechanism.
  In small quantities these things are acceptable, but if you’re noticing that your sugar intake is way too much try and chop one of those down at least for a day or two. See how you feel, especially with caffeine it may hard to just get up and not have caffeine but just try and wean yourself off or lower the amount that you’re taking in. If you’re doing three and four cups of coffee a day just try one or two and then the week after try one and then a week after that try decaf or whatever.
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  Replacing some of those bad habits with healthy alternatives that you don’t mind is a great compromise because it’s it’s going to be hard to just be a 100 healthy, and you don’t have to be. I would say i’m about 70 healthy on most days and some days i’m at like 50 or 40. But it’s about being more on the end of healthier than unhealthy. It may just start by adding one extra vegetable a day or one extra fruit a day or just reduce reducing the amount of coffee or sugar you’re taking just by a little bit. One at a time just slowly start replacing the negative eating habits with some positive ones.
  The next coping mechanisms that people always talk about is, “why don’t you breathe, breathe and it’ll be okay, just  breathe.” What does that even mean i’m breathing all the time if I wasn’t breathing i’d be dead right? So this breathing thing needs to be explained a little bit better. There are two methods of breathing, that at least i’m aware of, that work pretty well. One is box breathing and two is diaphragm breathing.
 Box breathing is when you pick a amount of time so whether that be three seconds, four seconds, or five seconds, much more is a little too much and much less is not that helpful. Let’s pick three, you breathe in for three seconds, you hold it for three seconds,you exhale for three seconds and then you hold that for three seconds. This box this really helps your heart rate decrease and also if you just focus in on the counting and the breaths there’s also a form of mindfulness and if you know anything about mindfulness it’s just about being aware of your thoughts and being aware of your body. It’s kind of a way to take a step back.

  The other one is pretty much breathing through your diaphragm, this is where you’re gonna set your hand on your chest where your lungs are and then one hand below where your stomach. Make sure your shoulders neck and head are relaxed so and then what should happen is top hand on your chest should never rise, you’re going to be focusing on breathing lower, letting this bottom hand rise outward. When you’re breathing it’s just nice and slow through the nose and then when you’re breathing out through the mouth, your lips are kind of pursed like you’re gonna kiss somebody in an awkward way. 

   You may feel more comfortable doing it by yourself lying down is always the best because your whole body is relaxed but if you need to just go off to the side if you’re at work. Then do it elsewhere where you’re not in front of somebody do it. 

   Just be mindful that your chest is not going up and moving out. It’s just your lower and mid stomach that is expanding and it’s gentle.Give either one of those a shot because controlling your breathing helps release good neurotransmitters and good chemicals into your brain. The feel-good chemical that is released is serotonin and I don’t know if you’ve heard about that but it is actually the endorphin for happiness, feel feeling good or calming yourself down.

   Try either one of those breathing techniques they’re fantastic and keep practicing them so even when you feel, great give it a shot. See if you can try them like five times a day for a minute two minutes at a time and you’re gonna notice a difference in your consistent mood.

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  The last thing is of course exercise, exercise obviously makes you feel better we may not like it, but if you exercise for a period of time so whether you’re weightlifting, running, or doing fit or crossfit or whatever. It actually helps release oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin which are all responsible for changing your mood and having antidepressant factors. Pick something, walk, run, jog, skip, jump, pull up, push up, do a couple of crunches but try to work out for 10 to 15 minutes. That’s gonna help release those feel good chemicals and when those chemicals happen, it is reducing the negative emotions that you have and of course it’s a great outlet. 

   Especially if you have anxiety, it is great to get out some extra energy, so to get out that anxious energy you go do something productive like run or lift weights.

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   Personally i’ve never liked working out and I would find myself in the gym for two to three hours a day just because the emotional benefit that came with after my workout and during the middle of my workout. The other benefit to working out is the long-term results, so seeing that” I did this semi-consistently and I lost five pounds or I gained a muscle over there that i didn’t know I had.” That helps boost confidence and confidence also helps boost your endorphins. and improve your base mental health. When you feel better about yourself it helps you deal with your mental illness.
  Hopefully you give one or two or all of these coping mechanisms a shot personally I use all of them they all work for me.
Tags: Coping Skills Part 1, Control Your Body, Physical And Mental Wellbeing, Helps Release Oxytocin Serotonin And Dopamine, Feel Good Chemicals,Coping, Fantastic Coping Mechanism
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