According to Mental Health Ireland, 1 in 4 people at some point in their life will
experience a significant mental health issue. 1 in 4 people. Often, we may feel
alone in what we are struggling with and think that everybody else is “normal”
in comparison to us or that everybody else has it “easier”. While it may
sometimes seem that many of those around us “have it together”, more often
than not - we are surrounded by people who may be struggling with their
The Health at a Glance Report, reported that Ireland has one of the highest
rates of mental health illness in Europe. 18.5% of the Irish population recorded
as having issues including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or
alcohol/drug use. This report was in 2016 and demonstrated that almost 1 fifth
of the Irish population reported mental health issues such as those listed
Within my practice and taking into consideration the clients I currently work
with and have previously worked with, at the beginning of starting to work with
a client in our first session I always ask and try to establish “what are your
goals during your time attending sessions?” or “what would you like to gain
from sessions?”. One of the most common answers I note is that clients are
always looking for effective ways to cope within their daily life. Clients want to
be equipped with a toolbox of skills, strategies and techniques which they can
use when faced with the struggles associated with their presenting problems.
The good news is there are a multitude of tips and tricks and grounding
techniques to safeguard yourself in the moment of a struggle, however we can
also put in the groundwork in advance and build our overall resilience.
While learning to effectively cope can be a process which can be timely and
varying in duration for everyone, this article will highlight three areas to aid you
in coping more effectively when faced with a variety of mental health
difficulties. Please note that we recommend consulting with a professional for
long term results and success and combatting what you are facing and the
tips highlighted below are advised to be complimentary as part of a wellness
plan or programme where necessary.
Below are 3 useful Cognitive Behavioural methods for consideration when
establishing methods to cope more effectively. N.B if you would like further
information on each of these areas - these can be discussed with a member of
our team in more detail.
CBT Methods to help you cope more effectively
1. Self-Monitoring - When working with any issue, building awareness of
what is going on is an essential first step towards being able to make a
change. Without awareness we cannot acknowledge what is currently
not working for us. During CBT, self-monitoring is a key factor of being
active in your own wellness and taking responsibility for improving how
you feel. Monitoring how you feel may often be done using thought
records, daily mood logs, food diaries etc. Understanding what is going
on for you and being proactive in this process can really help you feel
like you are managing your negative experience, further resulting in
greater ability to cope effectively.
2. Cognitive Restructuring - Again, bringing in the awareness element
here - we must first start with the identification and recognition of our
negative thoughts and beliefs. Our negative/limiting thoughts and beliefs
about ourselves, our environment and others can directly be linked with
poor mental health. Cognitive restructuring involves becoming aware of
these thoughts/beliefs and disputing/challenging them and further
changing them. We do this by searching for a logical evidence base to
support that what we are thinking is in fact true or in most cases we
realise that what we are thinking or believe is untrue and not based on
fact. When we begin to find alternative and new ways of thinking, we
can in turn improve how we feel.
3. Goal Setting & Management - When we feel low or are going through
a tough time, our goals may often fall by the wayside or even be hard to
think of. Having goals and things you want to strive towards achieving
can aid you in recognising the meaning and purpose associated with
your life. While goals can be an anxiety provoking source of stress at
times, they can also be a way of establishing personal strengths.
However, with that in mind - it is important to take into consideration
what your goals are, whether or not it is currently achievable or realistic
and establishing a frame of time to when you’d like to see the goal
completed. Setting goals and managing goals can be another key
feature of feeling like we can cope more effectively with what life is
throwing at us.
While we take into consideration also the varying levels of how we all cope
differently, please note - if you, or someone you know is at immediate risk of
suicide or self-harm, go to or call the emergency department of your local
hospital. You can also contact emergency services on 112 or 999 anytime,
day or night.