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    Coping skills are what keep us going in the worst of times calming anxiety and brightening depression, they can be a hobby you like to do that keeps your mind engaged on something other than what is negative in your life and/or exert negative energy from your body. For example, a couple of my own coping skills are martial arts and exercise, both keep you focused and exert any negative energy in your body. Coping skills to me are comprised of the 8 dimensions of wellness listed below. It's up to you to figure out what coping skills work best, some popular ones are exercise, community involvement, yoga, meditation, reading, & getting involved in sports.

Emotional Wellness

  • Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.

  • Encompasses optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and the ability to experience and cope with feelings independently and interpersonally. Emotional wellness includes: practicing self-care; fostering inner resources and resiliency; finding unique ways of coping with stressors; creating satisfying relationships; empathizing with others; being realistic about expectations and time, and knowing when to ask for help.


  • Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support wellbeing.

  • inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. It involves understanding the dynamic relationship between the environment and people and recognizing that we are responsible for the quality of the air, water, and earth that surrounds us and in turn, that social, natural, and built environments affect our health and well-being. Our environment and the way we feel about the environment can play a big role in how we live our lives. Examples of our environment include our social environment (i.e. bullying, fat talk, and racism), our natural environment (i.e. air, nature, and climate), and our built environment (i.e. proximity to resources and living conditions).


  • Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.

  •  includes our relationship with money, skills to manage resources to live within our means, making informed financial decisions and investments, setting realistic goals, and learning to prepare for short-term and long-term needs or emergencies. Part of this dimension includes an awareness that everyone’s financial values, needs, and circumstances are unique.


  • Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

  • Encourages participating in mentally stimulating and creative activities. Improving intellectual wellness can happen in and out of the classroom. It is the ability to think critically, reason objectively, make responsible decisions, and explore new ideas and different points of view. It also emphasizes lifelong learning and inspires curiosity.


  • Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work!

  • Involves preparing for and participating in work that provides personal satisfaction and life enrichment that is consistent with your values, goals, and lifestyle. This dimension includes taking a thoughtful and proactive approach to career planning and assessing personal satisfaction and performance in one’s work. 


  • Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep.

  • is not merely the absence of illness, but about maintaining a thriving lifestyle. This area of wellness includes adopting healthy habits such as routine medical exams, immunizations, safety precautions, sexually transmitted infection screenings, adequate sleep, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and more. It is also about avoiding or minimizing risky behaviors like alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Most importantly, physical wellness is about discovering what healthy habits make you feel better and suit your lifestyle and level of mobility and fitness. 


  • Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.

  • Focuses on connecting with your community and the people around you, which includes being aware of you're own social and cultural background as a bridge to understand the diversity and depth present in other backgrounds. This dimension encourages taking an active part in improving your communities, connecting with others, establishing supportive social networks, developing meaningful relationships, and creating safe and inclusive spaces. 


  • Soul, expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.” Not just believing in a higher being/a God or Goddess.

  • Seeking and having a purpose in life, and participating in activities that are consistent with one’s beliefs and values. Figuring out who you are on the inside, and forgiving yourself for any wrong you may have done to yourself or others. In short, this is cleansing your soul of any darkness/negativity and finding out who you truly are!

     When I first heard about the 8 Dimensions of Wellness, I thought it was incredible! This breaks down each of the aspects of wellness, except for one! When I teach the 8 D's of Wellness to people I take out "Spiritual" and put in "Soul" Wellness. Now don't get me wrong I believe there's a higher power up there somewhere, somehow there has to be something greater than me! I'm very spiritual, and I have seen a lot in life that evokes the thoughts of a higher being real. Now let's look at this from the aspect of someone who is fighting depression, anxiety, or P.T.S.D., and a lot of times people at the very beginning stages of wellness lose their faith in a higher power and spirituality. I have seen this man times working with people who fight mental illness, and addiction recovery.


      I incorporated Soul Wellness when I began really thinking about my wellness and what the key was for me to change my life. I went through a lot of my life in a dark state of mind. I lost my parents when I was young, I was orphaned by the time I was 11 years old, and for that and some other things that happened to me, I thought the world owed me. I was not the man writing this today, I was a darker aspect of myself, and so was my soul. All the bad I did in my life, I believe darkened my soul and the only way to get better is to bring light into my soul, to change my way of thinking that, the world owed me, the world doesn't owe me! Yes, I had a bad hand in life in the beginning, but I can either let that define the rest of my life, or I could let that become an inspiration to me to change my life!


     I think the same for people in addiction recovery! Take the average person fighting the disease of addiction, a lot of them had a bad hand in life and don't have coping skills to help them overcome bad things happening in their lives, so they turn to drugs and alcohol and then a spiral for them begins where they have to have that drug to feel "normal" and so they do whatever they have to do to get the drugs, and their souls get darker and darker! This turns them into the person they think they are now, and the only way for them to truly change, to truly have a chance in their recovery is to change that way of thinking and bring light into their souls by doing good, making better decisions for themselves.

    A lot of people use grounding which is an amazing coping strategy designed to "ground" you to the here and now, especially for people with P.T.S.D. (flashbacks) and intrusive thoughts, and dissociation (the disconnection or separation of something from something else or the state of being disconnected). Grounding connects you to the present moment.


Grounding techniques use your five senses (sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight) to ground you. Here are some examples.

  • Sound – listening to loud music

  • Touch – hold on to a piece of ice. Snapping a rubber band on your wrist.

  • Taste – biting a lemon or a jalapeno pepper

  • Smell – Scented lotions you can rub on your hand (a smell not associated with your trauma).

  • Sight - What do you see around you? Pictures, computer screens, outside your window, how many different colors can you name in your room or on one wall?

     It is vital to note here that not every coping skill works for every person! What works for me, might not work for you and vice versa! You must do the research and see what works for you, and it takes time, but if you remain persistent and keep pushing forward you'll reach your goals!!

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