- Will it make your situation better or worse?
- Could you look at yourself in the morning?
- Is it something that you’d normally do when you’re feeling great about yourself?
- Will it hurt anyone (including yourself)?
- Is there a better alternative?
- Why are you drawn to doing it?
Life is rarely easy, and some moments are way harder to cope with than others. Today, for me, was one of those. When something you want is so close to being within your grasp but you’re denied it, it stings. Whether it’s that first date, a job promotions or some other great change to your life — it may not always work out as you hoped.
It’s in these times where we want to find something to cling to for solace. Chocolate cake. Sex. Video games. Alcohol. There’s any number of coping mechanisms we can use to get over the unexpected stumbling blocks in life — but I suppose it begs the question of whether we’re coping with things in the right way when they don’t go our way.
There’s so many different types of coping mechanisms, that I wouldn’t even know where to start. This site alone lists about 20 different types (http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/coping.htm), so maybe that’s not what’s even important. I’d like to think that many of us have a pretty clear delineation between right and wrong, so I guess if we go a level deeper than whether the choices we make are right or wrong in the face of despair, another question lingers:
Are the coping mechanisms we use right or wrong for US?
A much harder question to answer. Sure, you could eat that pie. Have that one-night stand. Start that fight. Drink that mickey. But let’s ask a few questions:
I could list more, but I think you get the point. It’s at these low points where your emotions can potentially lead you down a dark and murky path, and logic may serve you better so that you can give the game of life another go in the morning.
So drop that Visa. Stop the actions that just make your life more complicated than it needs to be.
–Casey E. Palmer