How we all cope with stress

The ways we cope with stress can determine what long term effects we might experience.

And these effects often depend on whether our coping strategies are adaptive or maladaptive – in other words, whether they’re healthy or unhealthy.

It’s easy to find coping strategies that provide short term relief.

Like avoiding the problem by distracting yourself, overindulgence in certain activities and blaming others – but these often have lasting consequences and don’t help to solve the cause of our stress.

By being open about these issues, we can help to support people who struggle to cope with stress. And remove the stigma around confronting the negative impacts of cognitive strain.

Stress can be caused by both external and internal demands.

Sometimes there is a physical problem to be solved and sometimes our stress is caused by an internal dilemma that effects our emotional state.

Often, these demands cross over.

For example, losing a job is an external demand that requires us to adapt and make changes. However, this situation will also have its own internal burden, like feelings of inadequacy or depression.

It’s helpful to address both internal and external factors when coping with stress.

But don’t worry!

There are simple ways to help you tackle stress effectively.

Tackling stress in positive ways

Often the best coping strategies are the ones where you start small and make incremental changes to achieve long term improvements.

Spending just 10 minutes on a strategy every day is more sustainable than upending your whole life and putting all your focus into solving one problem.

This is something we help with at Cognassist.

Each learner using Cognassist receives four strategies a month, which they can do one at time throughout the entire month.
Meaning they’re not overwhelmed with information. And there’s no undue pressure on their working schedule.

To face both external and internal demands, we can use positive coping strategies that focus on two different areas:

Problem-focused strategies – analysing and improving our circumstances to tackle an issue that has a direct impact on us.

Take the example of losing a job, starting the search for a new job can help to change our circumstances and solve the external problem of not having a job.

Emotion-focused strategies – dealing with the feelings that arise from our response to a situation.

Losing a job is hard, no matter how prepared we are for it. Allowing ourselves time to process the news and be aware that negative feelings are to be expected. Doing things that we enjoy are a good way to counteract negative emotions.

Healthy coping strategies often cover both areas and apply to a wide variety of challenges.

While emotion-focused strategies don’t always feel like they’re helping and can seem like a distraction, they are vital to maintaining our best performance. As our wellbeing has a huge impact on productivity.

And we know stress and anxiety can affect our brain in our previous blog.

So we want to ensure we can reduce stress and handle problems with the full use of our cognitive abilities.

And now we’re going to give you seven quick and easy ways to cope with stress that you can try out here.