Breaking Habits Part Five: Coping Statements

Image result for coping statementsLast time, we talked about self-compassion: learning to be kind to ourselves. It is truly difficult to do this all the time, especially when life gets frustrating. Being kind to ourselves means that we acknowledge that:

1) No one is perfect

2) Struggles and challenges - and even mistakes - do not define us

3) We are not valuable or loved because of our appearances or accomplishments. While looking 'good' and being successful are important, we are worthy regardless of these

4) Being gentle and kind to ourselves means understanding that we are enough. But it also means that we can always grow and improve

As we practice compassion to ourselves, it is helpful to have some coping statements to keep us focused on our values, goals, and dreams. There are different coping statements you can repeat at various times in your life. You can even make your own!

Now, let's be real: sometimes you can say a statement to yourself - and it won't 'make anything better'. You might not even believe what you are telling yourself! If this happens, why should you use the phrases at all?

Image result for coping statementsWell, the reality is that the more you repeat or tell yourself something, the more you will believe it. The brain is very adaptive. Your mind will learn what you tell it. So, if you repeat negative thoughts all day, you will begin to believe them. Similarly, if you repeat coping phrases, you'll internalize them as well!

I encourage you to either search for coping statements, or think of your own. Repeat them to yourself, and reflect on what you are actually saying. For example, one of my favourite statements is 'you can do hard things'. To me, this means that regardless of what challenges I may face, I will get through them. I will survive. I may have to work hard for it, and it might be painful, worrisome, uncomfortable, or even distressing and frustrating. But I CAN DO IT. 

What are your 'go-to' coping statements? How do they help you get through tough times?

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