9 Unhealthy Coping Habits That End Up Hurting More Than Helping
We all find ways to cope with difficult situations and emotions. Whether we choose them intentionally (pour one more glass of wine to get through Wednesday) or engage automatically (default to pretending you’re fine when you’re really about to break down), our personal coping strategies are natural attempts to protect ourselves.
“As humans, we often choose the path of least resistance by ignoring the cues designed by our bodies and minds to help us learn from our history and each other,” says Paula Pavlova of Pavlova Wellness. “We use substances like drugs, food, and alcohol to drown our worries, pick little fights to avoid feeling our feelings, point out others’ flaws and hold grudges instead of looking closely at ourselves.”
The trouble comes because many of these unhealthy coping habits only provide temporary pleasure or relief. They’re stand-in strategies that stall—rather than solve—underlying unrest. “These tactics are attractive because they’re easy—but they work until they don’t,” Pavlova says. Even when times are at their toughest, avoid getting trapped in these nine unhealthy behaviors commonly used to cope, especially these days—and health and wellness experts walk through how to deal instead.