Coping stress is the effort to control, reduce, or learn to tolerate the threats that lead to stress.
Coping mechanisms are ways in which external or internal stress is managed, adapted to, or acted upon. Susan Folkman and Richard Lazarus define coping as constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and internal demands that are appraised as taxing.
There are two major categories of coping stress:
- Emotion-Focused Coping: People try to manage their emotions in the face of stress by seeking to change the way they feel about or perceive a problem. For example, accepting sympathy from others and looking at the bright side of the situation.
- Problem-Focused Coping: People attempt to modify the stressful problem or source of stress. Starting a group study to improve poor classroom performance is an example of problem-focused coping.
While managing business we have to face numerous work-related stress. Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some points, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short term, you may experience pressure to meet the deadline or to fulfill a challenging duty. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming and harmful to both physical and emotional health. In fact, you can not always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take some steps to manage work-related stress.
Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work stress. Some common workplace stressors are low salaries, excessive workloads, few opportunities for growth, work that is not engaging or challenging, lack of social support, not having enough control over job-related decisions, conflicting demands, or unclear performance expectations, and so on.
Work-related stress does not just disappear when you head home for the day. when stress persists, it can take a clang on your health and well-being. A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headaches, stomachache, sleep disturbance, short temper, and difficulty concentrating.
Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Compounding the problem people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol.
Thus, it is necessary to coping or to follow some steps to cope or manage stress.
Steps in Coping Stress
1. Identify Your Stressors
Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings, and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances that are responsible for the stress.
2. Develop Healthy Responses
Instead of attempting to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, do your best to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. Exercise is a great stress buster. Yoga can be an excellent choice, but any form of physical activity is beneficial. Also, make time for hobbies and favorite activities. Getting enough good-quality sleep is also important for effective stress management.
3. Establish Boundaries
In today’s digital world, it is easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might be making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.
4. Take Time To Recharge
To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout, we need time to refill and return to our prestress level of functioning. Taking enough time is one of the simple and best ways to coping stress. This recovery process requires switching off from work by having periods of time when you are neither engaging in work-related activities nor thinking about work.
Do not let your vacation days go to waste. When possible, take time off to relax and unwind, so you come back to work feeling refreshed, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and focusing your attention on non-work activities for a while.
5. Learn How To Relax
Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking, or enjoying a meal. The skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will go stronger with practice and you will find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.
6. Talk To Your Seniors
Employee health has been linked to productivity at work, so your boss has an incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee wellbeing. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this is not to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you have identified, so you can perform at your best on the job.
7. Get Some Support
Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program, including online information, available counseling, and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to psychologists, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behavior.
Some of the Strategies To Manage Stress:
Positive and Negative Strategies on Coping Stress
Try to develop these positive coping strategies:
- Develop an action plan that defines where stress comes from and ways you might diffuse it.
- Seek creative outlets that give you the channel to express your feelings.
- Meditate and breathe deeply.
- Seek counseling or group therapy to vent.
- Learn to relax.
- Eat a healthy and nutritious meal or snack.
- Play with your friends or a pet.
- Spend time with a friend or significant other.
- Write your thoughts or feelings in a journal.
- Set priority.
- Manage good sleep.
Try to avoid these negative coping strategies:
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol to change the mood (using alcohol as a friend).
- Denial: Pretend nothing is wrong (ignore the problem).
- Drug Use: Abuse coffee/aspirin/medications (illegal drug use).
- Faultfinding: Have a judgmental attitude, complain, and criticize.
- Illness: Develop headaches/ nervous stomach/major illness (become accident-prone).
- Indulging: Stay up late, sleep in. Buy on impulse (waste time).
- Passivity: Hope it gets better, delay, wait for a lucky break.
- Stubbornness: Be rigid. Demand your way (refuse to be wrong).
- Food: Go on a diet. (use food to console yourself, ice cream, chocolate, comfort food, etc)
- Smoking: Smoke to relieve tension (smoke to be in).
- Withdraw: Avoid the situation (skip school or work, keep feeling too self).
- Worrying: Worry over things (Imagine the worst).