Coping skills are strategies that help individuals to manage their emotions and avoid or reduce anxiety, fear and related stress symptoms. They may include distraction, relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises and cognitive restructuring.
Health benefits of Coping skills
1. Coping skills help to reduce stress – Coping skills are an effective way of reducing stress. When you avoid stressful situations and thoughts, you can stay calm and maintain a healthier state of mind.
2. Coping skills help to control anxiety – Anxiety is the main factor that triggers the onset of many psychological illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorder. Anxiety causes sufferers to withdraw, but coping skills help them to control their anxiety by re-establishing control over themselves, in a healthy way.
3. Coping skills lead to adjustment – Unhealthy coping strategies (such as avoidance) lead people into a downward spiral when it comes to managing difficult situations and emotions. By using healthy coping skills, people are able to adjust and manage the situation without resorting to ‘negative’ methods.
4. Coping skills help in the treatment of psychological and mental disorders – Coping is a vital part of treating psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorder and panic attacks. By showing sufferers that they have control over their thoughts and feelings, coping skills help them to manage their illness effectively.
5. Coping skills hamper addictions – Addiction thrives on stressful situations of anxiety where people find comfort in a negative behaviour such as smoking or drug-taking. By developing positive coping skills, you are less likely to turn towards self-destructive behaviours when feeling stressed or anxious.
6. Coping skills can be learned – Coping skills are not limited to those who are born with them. They can be learnt and improved upon. By adopting coping strategies, you can reduce your stress levels and begin to enjoy life again.
7. Coping skills help us understand others – Sometimes we may feel like nobody else understands what we are going through, but the truth is that there are many people in the same position as ourselves. When you learn to cope you will find it easier to connect with and support others who are struggling through similar situations and emotions.
In a nutshell, coping skills are the driving force behind managing stress in a healthy way. They help sufferers to maintain a healthy state of mind and live their lives more effectively.