Many of us reach for a glass of wine, maybe two, at the end of the day, as a way of coping with stress; a way to take the pressure down a couple of notches. But how do you know when that glass of wine, or something else, is doing you more harm than good ? How do you know when a harmless habit become a vice?
These coping mechanisms may seem like they’re working in the short term. They have a numbing effect, making it seem that whatever stress we’re feeling has melted away.
Is this habit an unhelpful coping strategy?
Many people enjoy a glass of wine each night. As long as we follow the Australian guidelines to reduce our health risks, there’s generally nothing too harmful in that. But how do we know if we’re using alcohol as a coping strategy? According to Gamble, the motivation behind it is what’s important.
Raindrum’s co clinical director Dr Tonya Coren agrees, saying when these coping mechanisms become a need, that’s when they’re a problem.
Sometimes the hardest battle is realising there is a problem, and finding the motivation to change. Dr Coren says in the first instance, it can help to make some lifestyle changes.
Dr Coren said that many people don’t realise their coping strategies are becoming a problem until they’ve reached a crisis point.
If we suspect we’re falling into unhealthy habits, Dr Coren believes the first port of call is to talk to someone we trust, whether it’s a friend, family member or a professional.
But if it has reached a crisis, it’s important to get help right away whether it’s from a psychologist, support counsellor or in extreme cases, in hospital.