Coping refers to growth strategies in the face of challenges. It’s generally sufficient to just take a deep breath, to relax or to seek a distraction in the face of ordinary stress situations. We’ve learnt to use yoga, meditation and exercise to steel ourselves against ordinary stress. Many of these anti-stress techniques can provide instant relief. However, we are going to need more if we want to not only survive life’s great challenges but to recognize them as an opportunity to grow.
Psychologists have recently begun to examine how coping strategies permit us to emerge from a difficult situation stronger. Some coping strategies are:
• finding equilibrium, avoiding extremes, finding a middle way between “never talking about it” and “constantly talking about it”.
• spending time with constructive people but reflecting on one’s situation alone.
• taking time for one’s self, keeping busy.
• talking or writing about it.
• business as usual.
• physical activity (stretching, massages, warm baths) and productive activities.
• distractions such as movies, hobbies or other activities.
• In stress situations, one has to prepare for discomfort. It is important to learn to tolerate it.
• Eat healthily (plenty of vitamins, roughage). No alcohol, caffeine or pills.
• Learn to differentiate between what you can change and what you cannot.
• Take time out to recharge your batteries.
• Put yourself first.
Don’t take negative emotions personally.