Coping mechanisms

I've had many occasions in my life so far when I've felt sad or worried. And I often felt so let down by the whole situation, that I didn't even know how to pick myself back up. Everything seemed so dramatic like the whole world would crumble down upon my shoulders. 

Until I realised that you cannot be worried or sad about two different things at the same time. Most often, it's only one of the things that takes over your entire mind to the point where your mind forgets to worry about the other. Or, the former worry seems insignificant in comparison to the newly found worry on the self-perceived bigger thing that is now consuming your mind.

Acknowledging this really puts things into perspective. What once seems like bigger than yourself to deal with becomes insignificant and even forgotten in the face of the new thing that emerges which seems bigger than the former and therefore able to consume you mentally and emotionally. Your mind just doesn't have enough room to store two equally worrying things at the same time and process them with the same degree of effort and emotional turmoil. Only one of them will prevail, while the other will be pushed at the back of your mind. 

I arrived at this conclusion quite sporadically while watching somebody describing her worry one week and a different worry the week after. I then internalised this in relation to how I feel when I have multiple things to worry about or deal with. One becomes important and the rest don't matter, even if they seemed like the most important things to deal with at some point in time. Miraculously, in the face of a new worry, the former big sources of stress or sadness are no longer relevant or worthy of mental strain.

Realising this has got me thinking that a relatively effortless coping mechanism when you are overwhelmed with worry about something is to identify another thing to concentrate your worry on. While identifying this is not ideal, at least it is a good way to manage your worry and keep things in perspective.

You may think that having more than one thing to be worried or stressed about could feel even more overwhelming. On the contrary, it will distract your mind and get you to realise that nothing is as big as it seemed like in the moment and what once felt like everything doesn't even matter anymore when you have something new to deal with. Also, if you manage to channel your worry on the new smaller thing that you've identified, that perhaps is smaller than the former but it just feel s more poignant because it is more recent and therefore fresh in your mind, then that is a good way to manage your worry and manage your emotions in the process. By refocusing the mind on the new thing you are letting go of the former stressor, which may not make the problem go away but at least the way you deal with becomes easier.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published