Finding Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Why are healthy coping mechanisms important?


Sofia Browne

Sophomore Alexis Potter doing lunges in the weights room after having a stressful day.

With the winter season and the new semester’s stress in full swing, mental health problems among teens have spiked significantly. Many teens find it hard to manage these difficulties, which then leads to unhealthy and dangerous coping mechanisms. Today, students and staff at Air Academy High School share some better ways for teens to help with these emotions in order to help teens live a happy and healthy life that is free of harmful habits.


Every individual has some form of dealing with powerful feelings such as depression, anger, and anxiety. This is why it’s important to find a mechanism to help with mental health issues as opposed to one that may worsen the effects. 


“The development of healthy coping skills prevents teens from using unhealthy or risky means to manage or distract from their problems. Instead, it provides teens with skills and strategies that they can apply to manage stress, anxiety, difficult emotions, and new challenges that come their way,” a writer at Shortridge Academy included in an article titled, “Encouraging Healthy Coping Strategies in Teens.”


Though unhealthy coping mechanisms are typically stereotyped as drugs, alcohol, and self-harm, there are other unhealthy habits that we have yet to realize are harmful. 


“Rotting away in your room just scrolling through social media and then you develop the want to like do things but instead of actually doing those things you just… sit there and compare your life to others,” sophomore Alexis Potter mentioned.


Finding a good way to better personal struggles can be incredibly difficult, which is why it’s so important to reflect on the impacts of certain actions. School counselor, Rachel Archer, knows when certain habits have a positive effect on students’ mental health


“Finding what gives you joy in life and something that just gives you peace as well which can vary for everyone,” Archer stated. 


There are many different hobbies and activities that boost serotonin levels and provide a beneficial way to strengthen emotional health, which sets teens up for productive and healthy mental states.


“What I think really helps is cutting off people who give… negative energy to you and don’t serve you in the way that you want to progress into, just taking care of yourself and putting in a greater effort to become a better person is really important,” junior Jamie O’Toole said. 


Not only can changes to your emotional life be good coping mechanisms, but so can proactively working on a different aspect of the body.


“From working out and making sure to stay active feel better… my mental health is just so much better. In class, I’m way more productive and also super social now, my conversations just flow so much better than before,” Potter shared.


Many teens find it nearly impossible to break out of the habits that in reality may be causing more harm than good. Learning to properly cope with hardships is an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle, which is why it’s so important for teens to be introduced to activities that help grow the mind and body viably in order to help break the habits that can intensify mental issues.