Coping Mechanisms Are Developed Through Exploration and Independence.
A lot of people talk about mental health as being an issue but I think of it as something different. It is really a discussion about us and our minds. It is about our everyday life, our dealing with other humans, the things that impact upon our moods and our ability to look after ourselves. In other words, some people are more dependent on other humans to keep their minds balanced and this can be massively impacted upon by the behaviours of those who surround them and their everyday lives.
For example, if you are a people person and you thrive off of being around people, then you are moved to remote Northern Scotland and are suddenly working on a salmon farm with nobody for company, your mental health will suffer. If, however, you enjoy your own company and have good coping mechanisms, then this sort of job will seem ideal to you and mentally it will be better for you than working in a busy factory. On a different note, if the people around you are negative or not particularly interactive with you, you may feel lonely even in a busy place, and this may cause you some depression.
I suppose some of your ability to cope with everyday life comes from your upbringing. In my experience and when reflecting on my own growing up, I realise that certain coping mechanisms come from being encouraged to be independent. Fighting your own battles is a skill in itself and if parents do not allow young people to learn how to cope with difficult situations, they can easily grow up to be quite fragile emotionally and socially. I know of parents who always step into situations which could easily be resolved by their kids, but instead prevent the children from having to find ways of dealing with conflicts; often conflicts which they have instigated in the first place.
For me, if I was in any kind of trouble, I would feel comfortable talking to my mum about it and she would make me reflect upon it and consider ways forward. I would then make a choice and deal with it to the best of my ability. I found that this made me stronger and better at making life decisions as well as dealing with everyday awkward situations. Even simple things such as walking to school helped to teach me how to cope with traffic, keep my wits about me and feel better about myself mentally.
Mental coping strategies are partly taught and partly developed through opportunities to explore, retaliate, argue, take risks and be independent. More independence when growing up saves a lot of clingy separation issues later on in life and can help to make adult life more liveable.
One thought on “Staying Stable”
I’ve always had my Mom to talk to as well. Great post!