Updated on: Aug 7, 2012
Coping strategies refer to the specific efforts, both behavioural and psychological, that people employ to minimize stressful events. Coping with stress begins with learning to give yourself permission to be happy. Some people play the part of a victim, insisting other people make them feel stressed. People who are not skilled at coping with stress will say their career makes them feel stressed or their spouse adds stress to their lives. Ultimately, coping positively with stress is about taking responsibility for your feelings and your reactions to stress.
Coping with stress means not trying to be a superwoman or a superman. You can not be perfect and you can not do it all. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help when you are overwhelmed and busy.
Coping with stress means, you are easy when it comes to criticism. You do not expect too much from others or yourself. Moreover, coping with stress is about being happy with what you have.
For some people, coping with stress means taking a break from the worries of their daily lives through escapism such as a movie or playing a video game. Other people’s idea of coping with stress involves hobbies they enjoy such as gardening or drawing.
In terms of coping with emotional stress, the best way to handle stress is by sharing your feelings. Talking to a friend or loved one after having a stressful day is a great way of coping with emotional stress. You don’t have to do it alone.
Coping with stress is also about being flexible and living a balanced life. Neither let others impose their points of view on you nor reject them altogether. Try to be patient instead of judgmental, listen to others and think it over before taking a decision.
If your strategies for coping with stress are not working, seek professional help. A psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or qualified counselor may give you better ideas forcoping with stress than what you have tried on your own.
When you actually make up your mind to seek professional help in coping with stress, then think of a list of situations and things that you feel add stress to your life. Be prepared to explain how stress affects your career, your family, your physical health and your happiness. Think about the biggest hurdles of your life and your strategy to overcome it.
Strategies of Coping with StressGet organized - Coping with stress is all about planning. You can plan to fail or plan to succeed. Organize time for work, family, hobbies, spiritual time, time with friends and time alone, time for exercise and time for relaxation.
Visualize the best outcome - Coping with stress is knowing how to deal with a stressful situation before it occurs. Rehearse how you are going to handle it. Picture yourself being successful incoping with stress.
Don’t Postpone Actions - One of the best strategies for coping with stress is not to put off actions until tomorrow if you can do it today. Coping with stress becomes more difficult when you defer. Do your least favorite chores first, followed by rewards.
Be realistic - Set realistic goals. Emphasize quality over quantity. Work at a leisurely pace, taking breaks often.
Sleep, eat, and exercise - Coping with stress is all about treating your body properly. Eat food that nourish you, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
You probably know some people who are not good at coping with stress. They often look like haggard, as though they did not get enough sleep. They are often pessimistic, viewing the glass as half empty instead of half full.
People who are not skilled at coping with stress will often feel powerless to change the world around them. They don’t take responsibility for their feelings or their lives. Instead of using a sense of humor and learning to cope with stress in a positive way, these people blame others for their woes in life.
If you are interested in coping with stress, find a mentor, someone who is skilled at coping with stress in their lives. Model their behavior. You may find a mentor who is a yoga instructor or someone who meditates.
Meditating is an excellent way of coping with stress because it is a time when the mind is silent. If you have trouble thinking of nothing, reflect on positive moments. Listening to beautiful, peaceful music, the sounds of the ocean or birds chirping are also spectacular ways of coping with stress. Nutritional supplements can also be very beneficial when coping with stress.