Finding the WayMarch 8th, 2010 by Sharkchild
We have all gotten lost, whether literally on a physical journey or in life, in confusion and chaos. It is when the unrecognizable faces us that we feel out of place—a strange neighborhood, an unfamiliar situation, a party where you know no one, heartbreak that is inconceivable. Where or to what do you turn to when facing these scenarios? What is the result? Or does the overwhelming catastrophe of it all consume you until someone bails you out? Or do you run away?
This all relates to the mechanism of coping—how well we deal with challenges, responsibilities, and situations of stress. Why do some people cope better than others? Why does one person lose his or her leg and can still live a full and happy life while another person that loses his or her leg falls into a depressing, stagnant life. Is the way we cope learned? Gained through experience? Genetic?
This topic has come up in my mind because I am facing my own challenges at the present time. The only answer I have to these questions is spiritual, but even within this realm of thought there is a hierarchy of the ability of coping. Therefore, I really don’t have the answers to the above questions.
The Wikipedia article on coping states that there are three main coping strategies: appraisal-focused, problem-focused, and emotion-focused coping. Appraisal-focused coping occurs when a person modifies the way he or she thinks about a problem. Problem-focused coping occurs when the cause of the problem is dealt with. Emotion-focused coping occurs when a person releases buried emotions, or uses meditation or other procedures of relaxation.
I can’t say that the methods I use even fit within those categories. And these strategies still don’t explain the degree of success one person will have versus another—why does one person cope better than another even with the same strategy?
Well, I think that’s enough to get the mind working. Try and observe the people around you and see how they cope. Also, pay close attention to how you cope. Perhaps you’ll learn something with regards to how to live a better life, because that is a given: the better we cope, the better our lives will be.