Stress is a part of life. And our ability to manage stress is part of the resilience needed to live a well-balanced life. Our ability to cope with stress determines the quality of our life. How we handle stress defines who we are.
Here are nine very practical coping skills strategies to help us cope with our stressors:
The 9 Coping Skills
1. Deal with your feelings. Feelings tell us what we need to do. To deal with them, we must name them, realize it’s ok to feel them, express them in a safe way, then decide what to do to feel better.
2. Adjust your attitude. What we tell ourselves about the situation will determine how we feel about it. Looking at the good side of things (having a positive attitude) can help us feel better.
3. Discover your choices. In every situation, there are things that can and cannot change. We help ourselves when we choose something that can be changed. Your attitude can always be changed.
4. Accept imperfection. Everyone makes mistakes. We can help ourselves feel better by adjusting our attitude and assessing our choices.
5. Give yourself a break. When you become physically and/or emotionally tired, get your energy back and make yourself feel better by relaxing and taking a break from what you are doing.
7. Treat yourself kindly. The stress caused by being angry, frustrated or pushing yourself too hard can make you feel worse. Feel better by using patience and gentle affirmations.
8. Plan ahead. When we have a lot to do or think about, planning ahead can help prevent problems before they arise. Planning ahead helps us to have enough time, energy & tools to complete the task.
9. Ask for help. When no matter how hard we try or how many coping skills we use, we still can’t solve our problem, it’s time to ask for help.
Which of these nine coping skills do you frequently use? Which are hard for you? Which are easier? You will benefit by practicing all nine, with an emphasis on the harder ones.
Practicing them during routine situations will help make them a part of your daily navigation, so when things become rough, you’re more comfortable finding your way.