5 Coping Skills for Stress and Anxiety
Your heart begins racing, your palms get sweaty, and you start to feel incredibly uneasy.
Whether you’re dealing with stress and anxiety at work or at home, it’s never comfortable.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know you want to learn new ways to cope with your stress and understand how they work. For over 14 years, we’ve educated our clients on new and effective ways to deal with their anxiety in order to feel more peace in their daily lives.
After reading this article, you’ll know about the different types of coping skills, understand the difference between problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, and have five new coping strategies to try.
What are the Different Types of Coping Skills?
A coping skill is a strategy that helps you to manage stressful life events, either by tackling the problem at hand or finding a way to make its impacts less distressful.
The different types of coping skills are:
- Social support
- Religious coping
- Problem-focused coping
- Emotion-focused coping
The two most common types of coping skills are problem-focused and emotion-focused coping skills.
What’s the Difference Between Problem-Focused Coping Skills and Emotion-Focused Coping Skills?
The difference between problem-focused coping skills and emotion-focused coping skills is that problem-focused coping skills work to eliminate the stressor and emotion-focused coping skills tackle the stress.
Problem-focused coping skills allow you to make some progress in getting rid of the problem you’re facing.
For example, if you’re feeling anxious about a tight deadline at work, problem-focused coping skills might include asking a colleague for support or delegating lower-priority tasks to a co-worker.
Emotion-focused coping skills allow you to soothe the stressful emotions that come along with the problem you’re facing. They’re helpful when you have no control over what you’re facing and can’t make changes to the problem itself.
In the same example, you might choose to do a quick morning workout to help you burn off some nervous energy before work or practice a meditation that helps you remember that this work task is only temporary.
Coping Skills for Anxiety and Stress
Here are five coping strategies to help reduce your stress and anxiety.
1. Redefine What Balance Means to You
You might experience a lot of stress and anxiety when you’re focusing all of your energy on one area of your life and neglecting the rest.
Putting all of your time into your job and ignoring your social life, for example, can make any small problem at work feel like a disaster.
Bring more balance into your life by:
- Establishing firm boundaries between work and home hours
- Saying “no” to social events you don’t want to attend
- Delegating tasks when you can
2. Re-evaluate Your Expectations
Are you asking too much of yourself?
If your expectations of yourself are far too high, one minor slipup can feel like a total failure.
Create realistic expectations about what you’re able to accomplish in a day. If you end up being able to do more, that’s great. But if not, that’s okay too!
3. Seek Out Support and Connection from Others
It’s easy to feel like you’re the only person in the world experiencing the challenges you’re facing.
But reaching out and connecting with friends or family can be a great reminder that you’re not alone.
We all have moments when we feel overwhelmed, but something as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend can remind you of what’s really important in life and help you to feel more connected.
4. Take Care of Your Body to Care for Your Mind
Your physical and mental health are linked – and moving your body in ways that feel good to you is a great way to boost your mental health.
Exercise leads to:
- Improved cognition
- Improved self-esteem
- Reduced negative moods
- Reduced feelings of anxiety
- Reduced feelings of depression
Finding ways to release physical tension is a great way to cope with the emotional effects of stress, and help your body complete its stress cycle.
5. Explore Mindfulness and Meditation Exercises
Mindfulness and meditation are two more great emotion-focused coping strategies.
They hold benefits including:
- Pain relief
- Reducing anxiety
- Lowering burnout
- Improving sleep and attention
- Lessening feelings of depression
Exploring mindfulness exercises is a healthy and effective way to manage your stress.
Next Steps for Managing Stress and Anxiety
After reading this article, you know about the different types of coping skills and have five new coping strategies to try.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know you sometimes need a bit of extra support to tackle your stress and anxiety. For over 14 years, we’ve helped our clients cope with difficult emotions and explore how to live the fulfilling lives they deserve.
If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, read these articles to keep learning: