We all have different coping styles depending on our needs and personalities. Active coping strategies are aimed at solving the problem causing the stress. For example, to reduce feeling overwhelmed by too many commitments, you might choose to cancel some activities. On the other hand passive coping strategies are aimed at reducing the emotions associated with stress or avoiding the stress. Relaxation and distraction are examples of passive techniques.
We tend to use different techniques depending on the level and type of stress, as well as our personality. For example, for mild stress, we tend to use passive coping strategies. Introverts are often over-stimulated whilst extraverts are often under-stimulated. So, introverts might like to relax by getting away from their stress, whilst extraverts might like to do something more active.
We all have times when stress gets too much. Here are some examples of coping strategies that might suit people with different types of personalities:
- Relaxation techniques
If you tend to get agitated easily, breathing, meditation and muscle relaxation are all techniques aimed to reduce tension. Find a quiet space, free from distractions from others. Focusing on breathing in and out slowly or relaxing individual parts of the body can help you feel more peaceful and less panicky. This technique can be useful for clearing your head in order to focus more clearly on what you need to do. Or, practiced regularly, meditation can be a buffer against daily stresses.
Doing a distracting activity, either with friends or alone, can also help to give you the break needed to clear your head and get back to work, for example. However, it’s not a long term solution and research has shown that avoiding stress isn’t the best way to relieve it.
- Writing a journal
For people who like to get to the root of a problem, writing a journal can help analyse the problem. Introverts might appreciate being able to organise their own thoughts.
- Building Self-Esteem
Those who are less emotionally stable are often more prone to stress than others. If you’re one of these people, relaxation techniques paired with positive thinking may be more useful long-term. Build up your self-esteem by voicing positive thoughts about yourself out loud. It may sound silly, but next time you’re under pressure, try saying “I can do this!” rather than “I can’t cope.”
- Working towards a healthier and more balanced lifestyle
Exercise can be great at relieving stress, especially for the more proactive amongst us. People who exercise regularly are less prone to stress. Eating healthier and building in regular breaks from the stresses in your life can also make a big difference to your experience of stress.