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How Do You Cope With Stress?

Topic Overview

There are many ways to deal with stress. The table below (reprinted from Wellness: Concepts and Applications*) lists positive ways to cope. See how many you use to deal with stress. If you have trouble filling out this chart, you may want to track your stress for a few days and then try again.

Positive ways to cope

Often

Rarely

Not at all

Listen to music




Go shopping with a friend




Watch television, go to a movie




Read a newspaper, magazine, book




Sit alone in the peaceful outdoors




Write prose or poetry




Attend an athletic event, play, lecture, symphony




Go for a walk or drive




Exercise (swim, bike, jog)




Get deeply involved in some other activity




Play with a pet




Take a nap




Get outdoors, enjoy nature




Write in a journal




Practice deep breathing, meditation, autogenics, or muscle relaxation




Straighten up your desk or work area




Take a bath or shower




Do physical work (garden, paint)




Make home repairs or refinish furniture




Buy something (records, books)




Play a game (chess, backgammon, video games)




Pray, go to church




Discuss situations with a spouse or close friend




Other:




Now see if you use any of these negative ways to deal with stress.

Negative ways to cope

Often

Rarely

Not at all

Become aggressive




Use negative self-talk




Yell at spouse, kids, or friends




Drink a lot of coffee or tea




Get drunk




Swear




Take a tranquilizing drug




Avoid social contact with others




Try to anticipate the worst possible outcomes




Think about suicide




Smoke tobacco




Chew your fingernails




Overeat or undereat




Become irritable or short-tempered




Cry excessively




Kick something or throw something




Drive fast in your car




Other:




Scoring Instructions: Count the number of positive and negative coping techniques you use.

Number of positive techniques: _______

Number of negative techniques: _______

How often do you use negative coping strategies? ____________________

Do you use more positive than negative strategies or the reverse? ________________________

Do you recognize a need to change some of the techniques you are now using? If so, which ones? ___________________________________

What are some ways in which you can maximize your use of positive coping techniques? How can you minimize your negative ones? _______________

Used with permission: Anspaugh DJ, et al. (2009). Wellness: Concepts and Applications, 7th ed. © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Credits

Current as of: April 7, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health


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