When you start down the road to recovery, it can be a scary time. You’re feeling new feelings all the time, and learning a little more each day who it is that you really are. And even after you’ve been in recovery for a while, you’ll still have bad days. Anxious moments, tough situations, triggers. There are a lot of ways to handle things when you feel this way. That’s what all of these safe coping strategies are all about. But there are a few things you can try right when you feel the bad creeping in that may help ward it off. I have combined two safe coping strategies for this week, because I feel they go hand in hand.
Talk yourself through it. Self talk helps in difficult times.
Soothing talk. Talk to yourself very gently (as if to a friend or small child).
I don’t mean that you have to go around talking out loud to yourself, that could be embarrassing, right? You can talk to yourself silently, in your head. Start by just calming yourself down. I usually let myself know, “You’re going to be ok. Everything will be ok.” In moments of panic, it can feel as if the sky is falling, but it’s not, and eventually, whatever it is you’re going through will be ok again.
Maybe you’re doubting your ability to do something. Self talk is great here. Let yourself know that you can do anything you put your mind to. Remind yourself you’ve got strengths and talents. And a little hard work goes a long way. Bolstering yourself in this way will raise your confidence level and help you feel better.
Learning to live with anxiety and depression can be difficult too. And perhaps you’ve been given medication to help you with it. But, the idea is to not have to take the medication forever. And learning how to use self talk to your advantage will help a lot with that.
Use self talk to comfort yourself during scary, difficult or confusing times. Use self talk to boost your confidence during a challenging time. Use self talk to remind yourself why you’re here, why you do what you do, that you matter and that you’re worth it.
Be kind to yourself when using self talk. For example, don’t use language like, “You’re such a wimp.” Don’t put yourself down or be too hard on yourself. It’s important to stay positive, and to be gentle and patient with yourself. Negativity will spread like wildfire to other aspects of your life. Stay positive, be positive, talk to yourself positively.
It’s a practice. You will learn over time to automatically begin soothing self talk when it’s needed. A good way to get started is to use a list of positive affirmations as part of your daily routine. This is a good idea anyway, it’s an amazing self-esteem booster. But, it’s a way to practice self talk. Use only those affirmations that you feel apply to you and resonate with you. It’s not important to use all of the affirmations on a list you find, just the ones that work for you. You can also come up with your own affirmations based on your goals and situation. Here are some good sites to get you started: