So it's the week of Thanksgiving and I have heard a lot of people say to count your blessings. I think I'm going to leave that particular part until Thursday. But I was thinking in my church meetings today about other tricks that put things in perspective and help me to feel better.
The first trick I think about is the self esteem list. There are a lot of times where I'm really hard on myself and I even go so far as to call myself a failure. There are certain things in my life that might warrant that title, but I'm trying not to dwell on those negative moments and move forward. To help me do that, I have a list that I wrote up of things that I believe are true which are worthwhile qualities about me. I also carry my list around to help cheer me up when I completely feel like a failure.
Here are a few examples of things on my list:
I am a good singer.
I can cook a delicious dinner.
I have a good credit score.
While none of those things may be outstandingly amazing or may seem silly or stupid, they are still positive things that I can hold onto when I feel like I'm letting everyone around me and myself down. The point is not to write down what you are best at, but to write down the things that you are good at even if you feel like you aren't as good as someone else you know. For example for me, I can cook a good dinner, but if I were to only go by things I can do amazingly, that wouldn't be there. My mom is a much better cook than I am and there are millions of professionals who cook better than I can, but I can feed my family a meal that they are happy to eat, and that is good enough for me.
The next thing on my list of tricks is a cathartic ritual I take part in when I'm really stressed. When I feel like the world is against me and I'm really frustrated, I sit down and I write a letter. Sometimes it's to someone who has offended me. Sometimes it's to my Heavenly Father. Sometimes it is just to a future self. Now there are 2 versions of the letters I write.
The first version is very positive. This is typically to my Heavenly Father or my future self. In this letter, I try to pull myself out of the situation by writing a letter about how I hope things are going for my future self or by what I wish could happen in the near future. Sometimes getting my mind off the problem and onto possible solutions or hopes is enough to get me out of the dumps. Sometimes I still am dealing with the negative feelings, but I feel like I've been heard which makes me at least feel in a better place.
The second version is entirely venting. I pretty much either go off on the person who I'm frustrated with or I let all of my concerns, worries, and issues spill onto the paper. This could be to pretty much any I listed above. But by letting these things out, I feel like I am heard and I let go of the negative emotion. Occasionally the letters to other people get sent to them to address the issue, but a lot of times they just remain with me in my notebook never to be read by anyone else.
The next trick that I use is meditation and yoga. Yes I am kind of a crazy person for liking yoga, but something about it speaks to me in a way to calm me down. It just puts me into a calm state of being and makes me breathe a lot better and easier the whole day, even if life tries to get me down.
The last coping trick I have in my arsenal is not widely approved, but it helps me. For me, I hate painkillers so when I'm in pain I find my relief elsewhere. I find it in MMORPGs. Usually this coping happens by me inflicting the same pain I'm feeling onto hundreds of bad guys in my games. This means I try very very hard to just run around and hurt things and I'm often not very productive in this kind of mindset in those games. This was how I survived the prodromal labor with my first child that hurt worse than the actually delivery of my baby girl. And for anyone who wants to pick up on a catharsis like this, you don't need to go out and spend a lot of money. For my first kid, I did vent on World of Warcraft. However, I have since left that game and I now vent on Guild Wars 2. However, you can find even cheaper catharsis in league of legends (which is all player vs player based), runescape, and Guild Wars 1.
Those are my coping methods I just felt I needed to share. If you so feel inclined, you can share some of your coping methods below in the comments. Either way, I hope that anyone who reads this can find peace and comfort in these.