Introducing some personal, close-to-home coping skills into our lives has serious advantages.
- With ourselves, we are operating in our sphere of influence. We can waste a lot of time trying to control others and be none the better for it. Even if we hope to contribute to world peace, the only place to start is with ourselves. Self-control, which is inner control, is the best place for each of us to start.
- Acceptance is the first step to change. Not only “knowing ourselves” but also accepting ourselves, and all that brought us to where we are, gives us a place to start being different. Where are we? What is our starting point?
- Asking ourselves personal and self-reflecting questions can yield insights and spark creative thoughts.
- Learning to know and accept ourselves can help us take better care of ourselves emotionally and even physically.
- Others tend to treat us in the same way we treat ourselves. When we respect and are kind to ourselves, then others will more likely respect and be kind to us. We model for others how to treat us.
- Learning more about ourselves can give us more empathy for others, and insight into what makes them tick. We can try to do that saying, “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” Reminding ourselves that others often feel how we would feel in a situation can help us relate to others.
- Gaining more self-understanding helps us to know what we want and need in relationships, and how to participate in mutually beneficial relationships.
Marty Nemko, PhD, life coach, personal coach, and author, writes a series of articles for PsychologyToday.com called “How to Do Life. Not-obvious practicalities, concisely and clearly presented.” Among many other topics, Nemko discusses things like:
- Baby Steps Toward Self-Awareness
- Simple Self-Help Tactics
- Toward Knowing Thyself
- Adult Homework for Personal Growth
- Finding Your Personal Philosophy
- A Shortcut to Happiness
- Walk Therapy for Personal Growth
- Our Multiple Authentic Selves
- Toward Self-Awareness
- Unearthing Your Foundational You
- Savoring What You Can Control
These short articles might serve as a smorgasbord of different ways to approach developing personal awareness, and from that, coping skills.
Other types of personal coping skills use music, writing, photographs, drawing, pictures & collages. We can use music and art to help to bring thoughts and feelings to our awareness, or to make them more concrete so we can visualize them and think about how they affect us. With this, we can experience these thoughts and feelings with more awareness and understanding, helping us to better connect present and past experiences.
All of these self-discovery techniques are enhanced by 1) practicing self-compassion, and 2) using the PACE framework with ourselves: Playful, Accepting, Curious, and Empathetic. More about the PACE model in a future post!
Being kind and generous with yourself will help you to help yourself!