WellSpan Home

Common Coping Responses for Stress

Topic Overview

We all find ways of coping with stress. Some coping strategies are not as helpful as others. For example, negative coping responses often make your stress worse, because they wear you down over time or are temporary distractions. On the other hand, positive coping responses keep you in the present moment and give you chances to actively work toward solving your problems. Not all positive coping responses will work for every person. Try several until you find one that works for you.

Positive coping responses

  • Listening to music
  • Playing with a pet
  • Laughing or crying
  • Going out with a friend (shopping, movie, dining)
  • Taking a bath or shower
  • Writing, painting, or doing other creative activities
  • Praying or going to church
  • Exercising or getting outdoors to enjoy nature
  • Discussing situations with a spouse or close friend
  • Gardening or making home repairs
  • Practicing deep breathing, meditation, or muscle relaxation
  • Making and following through with an action plan( What is a PDF document? ) to solve your problems.
  • Seeking counseling if you continue to struggle with stress.

Negative coping responses

  • Criticizing yourself (negative self-talk)
  • Driving fast in a car
  • Chewing your fingernails
  • Becoming aggressive or violent (hitting someone, throwing or kicking something)
  • Eating too much or too little or drinking a lot of coffee
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Yelling at your spouse, children, or friends
  • Taking a recreational drug, or misusing prescription medicine
  • Avoiding friends and family

All coping responses have limitations. They may:

  • Not be available on a regular basis or often enough to do the most good.
  • Not produce the complete relaxation that is best for undoing the harmful effects of stress.
  • Sometimes lead to new kinds of stress (such as a vacation that becomes hectic or a highly competitive sports activity).
  • Stop being effective because of overuse.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×