Adopting Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV)
When life gets too hard or overwhelming it’s natural to look for ways to cope. We can turn to all kinds of behaviors and activities.
Coping mechanisms are the strategies people often use in the face of disappointment, stress, trauma, loneliness, death of a loved one, divorce, unemployment, managing difficult or painful emotions. We already know some unhealthy or negative ways to cope with problems and disappointments: excessive drug or alcohol use, misuse of stimulants or depressants, impulsive spending, over or under eating, isolating, pornography, avoiding the issue, or sleeping too much, to name a few. The problem with turning to behaviors or activities such as these is that they can also lead to unhealthy dependencies with negative consequences. They may seem to be helping for a time, but eventually we discover they have done nothing but add another layer of problems to be worked through later.
God knew we would run into problems in this life, must face difficulties and have disappointments so He thoughts these through ahead of time and has provided amazing, effective biblical strategies we can engage during hard times that are guaranteed to help us succeed, experience victory and make us emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally, financially, and spiritually strong.
When we turn to healthy ways of coping with pain or difficulty, we are not only victorious in battle but deny the devil victory in our life. Jesus said the devil comes only to kill, steal and destroy but He comes to give that much desired abundant life (John 10:10).
When we don’t lean on our own understanding or ways of coping, we keep the devil from destroying our life, from stealing our good future and erecting strongholds that imprison and bind us to misery. Through the Word and wisdom of God we are encouraged to seek sound godly counsel, cultivate or develop healthy relationships, maintain a life(style) of balance, develop healthy boundaries, get plenty of rest, meditate, exercise, and do all things in moderation. When we avoid becoming wise in our own eyes and reject self-destructive patterns and behaviors, we will truly experience healing for our flesh and refreshment for our soul (3:7-8).
Praying Proverbs 3:5-6
Lord, it’s so tempting to turn to unhealthy behaviors to cope with the hard places in life. When difficulties surface don’t let us pursue paths and measures that end up making life worse but point us in the right direction and help us rely on Your wisdom even more. Only in You will our paths be made straight and we can weather our storms in a good way. Amen
Do you have any trouble or problems you are trying to work through using your own wisdom and understanding; anything you need to do differently leaning on God’s wisdom instead?
Pastor's wife, mother of four adult children, grandmother, Devotional Writer, Biblical Counselor, Mental Health Coach, Women's Life Coach, Avid Encourager of the young and old. Inspiring others to live their best life in Christ. Inspiring new confidence and courage, giving hope, renewing the soul and coming alongside through daily, biblical encouragement.