Coping Mechanisms + Changing Your Current State
A couple weeks ago I received some less than wonderful news. While the specifics don’t matter, Keira-of-the-past would have eaten her feelings about it with chips or fast food. Keira-of-the-past also would have experienced a loop of self-inflicted guilt, asking why she chose the falsely proclaimed ‘quick fix’ when internally knowing better.
As a recovering emotional eater, I’m not ashamed to say that while Keira-of-today ate her feelings about the situation she also made the decision that what was going to be eaten needed to matter. Instead of processed items, I focused on more natural choices and made a fruit salad. For those of you who are against eating apples due to their natural sugar content, please reserve your judgement. If you want, you can stop reading and move on with your day (with love – K, thanks bye) or you can stick around since this is about something bigger than macros.
Now for those of you still with me… what took place in the moment was recognizing I needed a change of state.
One of my favourite quotes over the last few years has been “Motivation follows Action”.
Did I want chips? Yup. Was I willing to deal with the consequences? Nope.
Evaluating my choice to create something vs. open something, go with a nature made option vs. a man-made option and focus on future goals vs. present pessimism were baby steps to support moving through the bog of my head and heart toward a more clear and neutral space.
I recently asked via Instagram poll “What is your most common coping mechanism?” Out of 131 votes the two highest results were WITHDRAWING (54%) and FOOD/DRINK (38%). These numbers proved a few things:
1. You are not alone.
Since I might just be the Chairwoman of withdrawing and keeping things to myself (for one reason or another), after my snack I knew there was something else I had to do...
Share the news with someone. It took a lot for me to reach out to a couple of my best friends rather than isolating because of the imagined judgement that I could potentially receive (I know, I know…let’s leave worrying about worrying as a topic for another day). Instead they both were there for me in their own perfect loving ways.
2. Get curious with care for the greater good.
If a majority of people tend to have similar ways of coping, how can we come together and notice patterns in ourselves and those around us to make an impact in a more helpful way?
Do you notice a friend isn’t their usual self? Reach out and ask them to risk your disapproval and be truthful with you as you lay the foundation that they don’t have to spill everything right now, but when they change their mind or are ready, you will be there.
Has someone you care about shifted in a way that is unhealthy (increasing alcohol or drug consumption, eating more or less to their detriment)? The next time you hang out, be an example and support change one step at a time. If you both value food when socializing, offer to prepare a homemade meal rather than going out (because you know you both love those fries). Perhaps you always have drinks, change up your routine and go for a walk instead.
When it comes to coping skills there is no one size fits all. Everyone’s circumstances are different. The invitation is for you to avoid masking your reality.
Recognize the need for a coping mechanism
+ Choose the highest vibrational option
= Change your current state in a forward trajectory
Is the ground below you in need of some watering? Are you feeling stuck? Are you self sabotaging when you know better?
The quickest way to reframe changing your state is by IF/THEN process to move you from where you are to your next step of heightened living. Here are some examples:
IF sitting for 90 minutes, THEN have an alarm set to stand up, move, stretch - and actually do so!
IF feeling anxiety creep in, THEN exhale completely and focus on circular breathing.
And hey, if a bowl of ice cream alone in your favourite chair is the highest vibe option at the time, that’s cool. Just remember, if you are choosing that every week and your ‘bowl’ is the whole container, deep down you know you are choosing to stay stuck in your feedback loop rather than stretch into something that may be uncomfortable and really help you.
With love to Pluto and back again,