Positive coping is:
- Labor intensive. It demands a lot of effort, energy and time.
- Focused on the long-term benefit of you and the people around you.
- A perfect combination of selfless and selfishness. At times in positive coping, you have to be selfish, but in the end, everyone wins.
- Interested in acknowledging and processing negative emotions like anger, depression, frustration and denial so that positive feelings can eventually take their place.
- Interested in increasing the amount and frequency of positive coping behaviors in your life and allowing you to engage in them with the supportive people you know.
- Setting yourself up for success later on because you will be able to accept you condition and flourish afterwards.
At this point, the choice is pretty clear. Positive coping is the only option for you. Remind yourself of this choice on days that seem to carry extra pain, worry or frustration. Negative coping always sounds appealing, but the risk of sliding in that direction is simply too great.
In some ways, making the choice of positive coping is a monumental task in itself. Now, your work changes into completing exercises that target your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, mental health and physical health in ways that encourage positivity.
Seek out a Good Doctor
Comfort with your doctor is crucial. Consider what you are looking for in a doctor. Do you want a matter-of-fact delivery of information or someone that is more nurturing?
You will have a working relationship with this doctor for a while. Finding a good fit will build the trust needed to honestly communicate your fears and concerns.
If you do not trust your doctor, you will be less likely to follow his or her recommendations.
Seek out Reliable Information
Information is everywhere online. Reading and reacting to the wrong information can lead to hopelessness and self-doubt. These feelings will trigger movement towards negative coping skills.
Steer clear from overly negative forums and online groups. This information will only make you expect the worse. Since each person’s experience can be very different, set your eyes to the facts.
Talk to your doctor and get information from reputable sources. Statistics, data and research studies will provide the facts without bias.
By now, it should go without saying, but it needs to be said anyways. Adjusting your diet, exercise and sleep patterns will be some of the best positive coping skills you can perform.
Do your best not to skim over this section thinking that you have heard it all before or that these changes do not work for you. No one is asking you to start eating only raw or gluten-free foods. No one expects you to run a marathon tomorrow or to have your circadian rhymes in perfect harmony.
The only goal is that you begin to see how foods, physical activity and sleep can be positive coping behaviors or negative coping behaviors. In most cases, an objective eye can tell quickly what side of the fence you fall. Small changes over the course of a year can yield grand results.