Coping strategies

I have to admit, I have stolen this from one of my CBT sessions so it's not exactly my own ideas. But, I find it so useful that I just have to share it with you all, just in case you find yourselves in a time of crisis! We all have times in our life when we feel overwhelmed by our emotions or have unhelpful thoughts. This is a list of some strategies that are helpful in the short-term. They are for times when you need to get through and you cannot do anything more to help right away. Honestly, give it a go, you might find it works just for you!

 A useful way to replace the overwhelming feelings or unhelpful thoughts is with thoughts and activity that focus on other things:

 With Activities:
 Engage in exercise or hobbies; do cleaning; go to events; call or visit a friend; play computer games; go walking; work; play sports; go out to a meal; have decaf coffee or tea; go fishing; do gardening; go for a run.

 With Contributing: 
Contribute to someone; do volunteer work/ give something to someone else; make something nice for someone else; do a surprising, thoughtful thing.

 With Comparisons:
Compare yourself to people coping the same as you or less well than you.  Compare yourself to those less fortunate than you.

 With opposite Emotions: 
Read emotional books or stories, go to emotional movies; listen to emotional music. Be sure the event creates different emotions.Ideas: scary movies, joke books, comedies, funny records, religious music, marching songs, inspiring songs; going to a newsagents and reading funny greeting cards.

 With Pushing away: 
Push the situation away by leaving it for a while. Leave the situation mentally. Build an imaginary wall between yourself and the situation. Or push the situation away by blocking it in your mind. Refuse to think about the painful aspects of the situation. Put the pain on a shelf. Box it up and put it away for a while.

 With other Thoughts:
 Count to 10; count colours in a painting or tree, windows, anything; do puzzles; watch TV; read.

 With intense other Sensations:
 Hold ice in hand; squeeze a rubber ball very hard; stand under a very hard and hot shower; listen to very loud music; put rubber band on wrist, pull out, and let go.


  1. I love this post! Thank you for sharing all of these. Will have to re-read 'em again and see what I can do.

    XO Naomi in Wonderland


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