Coping with Stress

What do we mean by coping with stress?

Coping with stress means being able to deal with the demands that life throws at us. To cope with stress we need to make conscious efforts to gather sufficient resources to meet these demands.

The coping response mainly depends upon what a person believes and practices. It is an ongoing process.

There are 3 stages of coping behavior in stressful events:

  1. Primary Appraisal - This is the initial reaction to any stressful event. The pros and cons of the challenge is weighed in the conscious and subconscious levels and the perceived level of threat is ascertained. If no threat is perceived, the coping response is stopped at this stage.

  2. Secondary Appraisal - This is the next stage when the person takes stock of the resources he or she has to overcome the threat. The assessment will be influenced by previous similar experiences: how these were handled and the effects of such situations. If the person feels that the threat is beyond his/her control, then distress occurs.

  3. Coping- This is the action stage when the most appropriate plan of action is carried out to meet the challenge the stressor has created.

The most effective technique for Positive Coping Response in Stress:

There are 2 steps for Coping with Stress

Step 1: Keep a Stress Diary!

Keeping a stress diary is the vital thing during the 3 stages of coping response.

  1. Write down each stressful event

  2. What was the source of the stress?

  3. What was your initial reaction?

  4. How did your body respond?

  5. How did your mind respond?

You can make columns and rows for each and prepare the diary.

Step 2: Assess Your Coping Response

  1. What was the stressor?

  2. Primary Appraisal

    1. How did the stressor affect you?

    2. Was it threatening?

    3. Or did you feel you could cope with it?

  3. Secondary Appraisal

    1. Your External Resources to meet the challenge:

    2. Your Internal Resources to meet the challenge:

  4. Coping Response

    1. Exactly how did you cope?

    2. What was the plan of action?

  5. Results of the Coping Behavior

    1. What were the effects of your coping behavior?

    2. Did it achieve the goals?

  6. Analysis of Your Coping Behavior

    1. Up to what percentage were you successful ?

    2. What were the drawbacks?

    3. How could you have improved?

    4. Additional precautions for future coping in similar situations

Also keep a list of your resources to meet future challenges.



Suggested Reading


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