Most of us have been so conditioned to the idea of having a drink or a handful of them, or popping a pill, or hitting a joint after a stressful day that we don't take the time to consider that there ARE other ways of coping. These coping mechanisms we use, are learned behaviors that are reinforced by popular culture.
Often these coping mechanisms are handed down from generation to generation, often based more on what society or those in power deems acceptable, than what is truly NATURAL, or at least natural to YOU. Very much like cruelty is also often handed down.
Cruelty to others or ourselves is NOT the natural state of being human.
Doing harm to others or ourselves is NOT the natural state of being human.
The use of another person's coping mechanisms, is like putting on someone else's shoes. It never fits quite right, and so causes, at the very least, discomfort, if not outright harm.
The difficulty then, is in the returning to, or find of, the way of the self with which to cope with external discord.
The way of the self is that method for coping which alleviates the anxiety without causing harm to others, the world, or the self. It's that way which heals, enlightens and lifts the individual and through them, others up, often into wellness and the wealth of spirit we have all but left behind the the race for relevance in the minds of others.
In that race we have neglected the need for relevance within and to ourselves and the way that is true to YOUR nature instead of anyone else's
The following is excerpted from At The Crossroads: The Destiny of Choice.
"6. Stress Management
"Give yourself to the dark side, it's the only way to save your friends..." - Darth Vader
Drawn to the Dark Side
We're indoctrinated to the idea that the sacrifice of self is the most noble act we can commit. In certain situations, i.e. the defense of another, taking a stand for the betterment of society, etc., that can be true, but in the most of the situations each of us will encounter in our daily lives, it is a grotesque falsehood.
How can a parent raise a child that has not only respect for his/herself but for others too, if the parent never shows respect for themselves or their needs? The denial of your own needs as a human being, in order to satisfy the 'sacrificial requirement' of being a parent frequently leaves people burnt out and desperate. It also teaches, in particular, your female children, that their needs don't matter when pitted up against someone else's. Though it's a strong message,in my opinion it's not the right one.
There is, of course, also a dark side to self-care, it can degenerate into hedonism and the far too prevalent, 'hooray for me, to hell with you' attitude we see everywhere from the political arena to public venues. The media doesn't help.
Avoiding the dark side is as simple and as difficult as finding and maintaining balance. When you care for, nurture, and honor yourself, you set the example for your friends and family that they are worthy of granting themselves the same respect. When your friends and family are competent in tending their own needs, then the capacity and ability to nurture each other becomes a joy instead of a duty."
In other words, when you give yourself permission to learn new ways of coping and caring for yourself, you lead by example, allowing others to do the same without judgement, and without self-destructive behavior. This is a mindset and set of life skills that's worth handing down from generation to generation.