Why Bother Using Coping Skills?
If you aren’t practicing coping skills you learn in therapy regularly while calm, there’s a good chance a skill such as deep belly breathing won’t be as effective as you’d like. When the nervous system dysregulates quickly to fight or flight, instantly really, that lets me know you may need to work on stretching the threshold for your fight or flight response, which requires practicing coping skills when calm.
If you are not practicing coping skills regularly when calm, here are some reasons why you should consider doing so:
– “Practicing deep belly breathing regularly is like exercise. If you only do it here and there you’ll receive little long-term benefit. Practicing deep belly breathing for about five minutes a day, while your calm, is going to give you better results for calming the body when stressed, similar to the way exercising several times a week over a long period of time is beneficial for your health.”
– Think of it as a fire drill. “Think of coping skills like a fire drill; practice them while you’re calm so that when a fire happens you can exit the building quickly and safely (calm the body quicker).”
-“Practicing deep belly breathing regularly while calm also helps stretch your resilience to outside stress. So the more you practice deep belly breathing, the better chance you have to stretch the threshold of your nervous system for becoming dysregulated.”
-Discharging worries using the worry box technique will help you feel more in control of when and how you worry. This also takes a weekly practice commitment to receive the benefits. However, you are only talking about 20 minutes of your time to do so effectively.
It is when you’re no longer getting reinforced for your defense that they are no longer available for you, and you are finally open for more change to occur.
This is a gentle reminder that when you, or supportive others, overreact or over compensate by too much reassurance to your distress, often due to your insistence, that you will internally experience this as reinforcement for the fight or flight. This is not intentional on your part, but it does occur, and it slows your progress.
When you receive over-help with constant repeated reassurance, you simply cannot develop the inner resources to effectively evaluate and solve problems.
When you receive over-help with constant repeated reassurance, you simply cannot develop the inner resources to effectively evaluate and solve problems. For example, consider the impact of “helicopter parenting.” The goal, over time, is to learn how to do these big feelings so you succeed in their work and life relationships in ways that are manful to you. That takes us right back to “Why bother using coping skills?” When you live with someone that experiences this type of thought pattern, there is only one way to help them disengage from it. You can learn more about that here.
If you have trouble with this, contact me here. We can work in person or online to start learn ways to “think yourself” into a healthier pattern. Please remember that quite often, your scary thoughts are false alarms, and that this is tough work. You have to want the change enough to want the work that comes with achieving it.