(NOTICE: Hurricane Dorian may cause power interruptions that could delay future posts.)

One thing for sure, when you are faced with stress, one of greatest obstacles to coping is to look inward and attempt a self-analysis. This process can be counterproductive because, more often than not, you enter a world of self-doubt (“Do I have the courage and strength to recover?”), self-blame (“I should have done things differently; the whole event is my fault.”), and self-pity (“I need to let others know how I have been victimized because I deserve their sympathy.”).

These self-intrusions make successful coping with stress almost impossible because you become unable to look objectively and accurately at the challenges facing you. One excellent way to resist these ventures into a self-centered mine field is to join a support group for those who have suffered the same, or very similar, stressors. Such groups are plentiful and can be located by contacting a local mental health association, crisis hotline, or even local law enforcement.

Support groups allow you to take yourself out of your life recipe and realize it’s not all about you. This is the Golden Rule of coping and is summed up nicely by a support-group member: “In my group I discovered sympathy and empathy…I mean to the point that I realized it was not all about me. We asked the same questions, faced the same demons, and found lifelines. Since joining my group. I have felt and become more human than ever before in my life.”


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