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If you’re struggling with a mental health issue, then you know positive coping strategies are crucial for long-term success.

Although this truth likely comes as no surprise, establishing successful coping strategies can seem challenging. Sometimes you might try to implement a coping tool only to feel like your efforts flopped entirely.

Has this happened to you?

It turns out that the solution for establishing positive coping strategies isn’t that different from creating other sustainable habits in your life.

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Here’s how.

Identify the Mental Health Issue

Identifying the issue may sound apparent, but it’s still a critical first step. To match the appropriate coping strategy, you need to know what you’re dealing with in regards to your mental health. For example, understanding the difference between anxiety and depression can be difficult, especially if you’re the one experiencing symptoms.

Working with a mental health therapist can be helpful in terms of pinpointing the issue. You get to have a professional evaluation and determine what it is you’re facing. With this approach, you can tailor your search for the appropriate coping tool.

Match the Coping Strategies to the Mental Health Problem

Next, you need to match the coping methods that could potentially work for your mental health problem. Again, a therapist could help you here.

They’ll be able to guide you to resources, like websites or books, that will discuss appropriate strategies. A mental health counselor will also be able to suggest which tips and tools they’ve found work best for your issue.

This helpful approach will make it a lot easier to get things started and point you in the right direction for continued success. Otherwise, you could spend hours doing web searches and not coming up with applicable strategies.

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Pick a Mental Health Coping Strategy to Try 

Putting your research into practice might feel like an evident step in this process. But you’d be surprised how many people can identify the necessary gameplan, and yet, they fail to put it into action. It can feel overwhelming to pick something and just start. But try to think about the outcome – maintaining your mental health in a positive way – and how much better you’ll feel.

To understand what works and what doesn’t, you must try the techniques. Trying means more than testing them out for a day or two. Give the strategy at least a week, preferably two. That will give you the time to learn whether the plan has the staying power you need.

Be Consistent to Create a Positive Habit

When implementing anything new, consistency is key. Let’s say you want to establish a mindfulness practice, which is an excellent idea. Try applying it at the same time every day, and for the same length of time.

For example, you might try a breathing exercise for ten minutes every morning right after you get out of bed or going outside for fresh air each day. Stick to the practice to develop the consistency you need for it to become a habit.

Deal with Unsuccessful Strategies

If the coping method doesn’t work, that’s okay! The information you gathered is beneficial. Now you know what doesn’t work for you, so you can refocus on another more effective strategy.

Remember, avoid trying to force it if something isn’t working. Also, don’t get down on yourself. Just because one tool didn’t work doesn’t mean there isn’t a potential solution out there.

Build Your Mental Health Toolbox

When you do find something effective at helping you cope with a mental health issue, hold onto it.

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But, at the same time, don’t stop looking for other solutions either. You need more than one coping method when it comes to mental health. One tool is not appropriate for all situations.

Have multiple coping strategies and tools for building resilience to difficult emotions when different scenarios arise that affect your mood or make you feel triggered. This toolbox will help you be prepared to maintain your  mental health in a positive way.

Ask for Help from a Mental Health Professional

If you’re struggling to find the tools you need for success, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This might be new territory for you. A mental health therapist who understands these issues can really support you on this journey.

You can share your ideas and also have someone to talk to when you struggle. It helps to know you’re not alone, and someone is there for you.

Therapist Columbus Ohio

If you decide you’re in need of a high quality Columbus OH counseling practice to find the right mental health coping methods that can work for you, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Online therapy is available, and our skilled Columbus therapists can support you and help create your own toolbox of strategies to maintain positive mental health.