Coping - what you need to know



“Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die”   -Tao te ching

  1. We have no control over some of our life events. They are probably going to happen whether we like it or not.
  2. Coping is made up of the responses (thoughts, feelings and actions) that an individual uses to deal with problematic situations that are encountered in everyday life and in particular circumstances.
  3. Coping has two major functions; dealing with the problem that is causing the distress and regulating our own emotion.
  4. Coping may not be capable of terminating the stress, but often mange it which includes tolerating or accepting the stress and distress.
  5. Personality, situational demand and socio cultural factors can influence your coping strategies.
  6. No single method is effective; a combination of approaches is generally most effective.
  7. What works for one person does not necessarily work for someone else.
  8. Problems may arises from collective sources thus effective coping require collective action.
  9. Many of our response to stress is involuntary for example intrusive thoughts. Many of our responses are an automatic for example withdrawal from others.
  10. Daily hassles were more important factor in negative health outcomes than major life events.
  11. Many people believe that certain emotional responses to stress such as anger are innate and unchangeable, but the fact is we can change our emotional reactions.
  12. Coping process are conscious, intentional, learned and associated with normal adjustment.
  13. There may be no universally good or bad coping processes though some might be better or worse than others.
  14. Coping choice may be less important than how well you execute that choice.
  15. Coping strategies may have multiple functions and their meaning and efficacy may change according to circumstances.
  16. Coping is related to physical and mental health.
  17. Coping strategies may not directly affect physiology but indirectly affect health related behaviour.
  18. Coping effectiveness depends on the individuals, their problem and with their emotions.
  19. Many chronic stressors are not readily noticed, yet often require special coping efforts.
  20. Younger children have fewer resources to cope than older adults do.
  21. Coping with traumatic events may last for a longer time than coping with everyday problems.
  22. Some of the productive coping strategies are Seeking Social Support, Focus on Solving the Problem, Physical Recreation, Seek Relaxing Diversion, Investing in Close Friends, Seek to Belong, Work Hard and Achieve, Focus on the Positive.
  23. Some of the non-productive Coping strategies are Worry, Wishful Thinking, and Not Cope, Ignore the Problem, Tension Reduction, Keep to Self, Self-blame.
  24. Coping skills help us to appraise our situation more realistically, utilize resources more effectively and thus we can get better outcome from our coping strategies.
  25. The first prerequisite for conscious development of coping skills is self-awareness, the second is motivation to change and the third prerequisite consists of the skills necessary to achieve the desired.
  26. Acquisition of coping skills can be enhanced through educational or therapeutic intervention. Teaching coping skills to children and adolescents presents a potentially significant method of preventing and/or modifying dysfunctional or maladaptive behaviors.
  27. Coping is not simply solving or managing problems, it is a means for human development and transformation.