Coping skills is a term that Orlando counselors use often! It is a way to describe how people handle situations, moods, and life changes. Coping skills can be one of two things. Coping skills can either be negative (i.e. harmful to your overall health) and not actually help the overall issue long term, or they can be positive. When they are positive they foster longer lasting results and improvement in mood. Positive coping skills create healthier habits and overtime this leads to better functioning. The idea of living a happy and healthy lifestyle sounds so easy. but then why isn’t it?
Throughout our lives we adopt behaviors, also known as coping skills, and those behaviors are what contribute to the way we live our lives. When we allow our negative behaviors to overrule, we start to fall in line with unhealthy habits. This can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, thus beginning a vicious cycle. When stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle, you can get stuck in a cycle of thought that leads you to think that you do not have the time, strength, or mentality to pursue a healthier lifestyle. This line of thinking can negatively impact the way you feel and influence your behaviors. The only way to fix this is to personally incorporate change into your living situation by making it healthier, happier, and more enjoyable.
In a recent Time magazine article it was reported that just 15 minutes of daily exercise may be enough to improve your overall health. Moderate exercise doesn’t only have a positive impact on your physical health. It also increases production of neurotransmitters responsible for balancing your mood.
Increasing whole grains, natural foods, and vegetables can have a dramatic impact on your overall mood. Sources that come from the Earth contain phytonutrients and many other natural compounds that are necessary for optimum functioning. Every color in veggies and fruit represents a distinct beneficial health ingredient. For example, tomatoes contain Lycopene, which is an antioxidant proven to fight the risk of cancer and keep the heart healthy. They say you should strive to Eat The Rainbow!
Tryptophan is a nonessential amino acid found in almost all protein-rich foods that allows more serotonin, “the feel good hormone,” to be synthesized in the brain, leading to an overall better mood. Although protein is a great source of tryptophan, other complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and veggies are also a great source.
Complex carbohydrates, such as oats and beans, contain soluble fiber that can minimize the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and increase serotonin, causing a decrease in mood swings and an overall better mood.
We’ve all heard it, but its worth mentioning again: BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY! Eating a nutritious breakfast, low in sugar, improves overall mood stability throughout the day. When skipping breakfast, you are more likely to experience fatigue, lack of energy, and even slight anxiety.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system and can be found in foods such as fresh seafood, nuts, whole grains, and lean meats. Studies have shown that an increase in selenium helps improve mild to moderate depression within seven weeks.
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. Caffeine in moderation is okay but too much may exacerbate depression, and if taken at night will keep you awake which will surely affect your mood for the following day.
Coping skills that have been harmful to you might be hard habits to break, but when you use a Orlando counselor you can develop positive techniques through therapy to better handle emotions or life changes. Living a happy and healthy life is not always as easy as it sounds. Life can be chaotic, and thriving amidst the chaos can be difficult. Sometimes, we need a helping hand from someone with the training and experiences to get us on the right track. Adult individual therapy can help you get back on track and handling things more productively. If negative coping skills are impacting your relationship, couples counseling can offer you a chance to focus on better solutions.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling to create a happy and healthy lifestyle, and can benefit from individual counseling to work on current, past, or future concerns, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give Orlando Thrive Therapy a call at 407-592-8997 for a free 15-20 minute phone consultation now. Our licensed counselors will help you to determine if counseling is right for you, and how Orlando counseling could help.
(This article was co-authored and collaborated with Ashley Campo, UCF psychology student)