Explain emotion-focused coping with stress



Stress arises when individuals perceive a discrepancy between the physical or psychological demands of a situation and the resources of his or her biological, psychological or social systems. There are many ways of coping with stress. Their effectiveness depends on the type of stressor, the particular individual, and the circumstances. For example, if you think about the way your friends deal with stressors like exams, you will see a range of different coping responses. Some people will pace around or tell you how worried they are, others will revise, or pester their teachers for clues. There are two types of coping responses emotion focused and problem focused

Emotion-focused Coping

Emotion-focused coping involves trying to reduce the negative emotional responses associated with stress such as embarrassment, fear, anxiety, depression, excitement and frustration. This may be the only realistic option when the source of stress is outside the person’s control.

Drug therapy can be seen as emotion focused coping as it focuses on the arousal caused by stress not the problem. Other emotion focused coping techniques include:

o Distraction, e.g. keeping yourself busy to take your mind off the issue.

o Emotional disclosure. This involves expressing strong emotions by talking or writing about negative events which precipitated those emotions. This is an important part of psychotherapy.

o Praying for guidance and strength.

o Meditation, e.g. mindfulness.

o Eating more, e.g. comfort food.

o Drinking alcohol.

o Using drugs.

o Journaling, e.g. writing a gratitude diary

o Cognitive reappraisal. This is a form of cognitive change that involves construing a potentially emotion-eliciting situation in a way that changes its emotional impact.

o Suppressing (stopping/inhibition of) negative thoughts or emotions. Suppressing emotions over an extended period of time compromises immune competence and leads to poor physical health.


Explain problem-focused coping with stress

Stress arises when individuals perceive a discrepancy between the physical or psychological demands of a situation and the resources of his or her biological, psychological or social systems.

There are many ways of coping with stress. Their effectiveness depends on the type of stressor, the particular individual, and the circumstances. For example, if you think about the way your friends deal with stressors like exams, you will see a range of different coping responses. Some people will pace around or tell you how worried they are, others will revise, or pester their teachers for clues.

There are two types of coping responses emotion focused and problem focused

Problem-focused coping targets the causes of stress in practical ways which tackles the problem or stressful situation that is causing stress, consequently directly reducing the stress.

Problem focused strategies aim to remove or reduce the cause of the stressor, including:

o Problem-solving.

o Time-management.

o Obtaining instrumental social support.

Critical Evaluation

In general problem-focused coping is best, as it removes the stressor, so deals with the root cause of the problem, providing a long term solution. Problem-focused strategies are successful in dealing with stressors such as discrimination, HIV infections. However, it is not always possible to use problem-focused strategies. For example, when someone dies, problem-focused strategies may not be very helpful for the bereaved. Dealing with the feeling of loss requires emotion-focused coping. Problem focused approached will not work in any situation where it is beyond the individual’s control to remove the source of stress. They work best when the person can control the source of stress. It is not a productive method for all individuals. For example, not all people are able to take control of a situation, or perceived a situation as controllable.


Give an example of Efficient coping strategies

Coping with stress

Stress has a major impact on mental and physical health. Now that you know how to recognize your stress and identify its source, let’s see how you can cope with it.

Efficient coping strategies:

Coping strategies are different depending on the situation and the person; here are some good coping strategies.

· Be positive!
Look at each obstacle you encounter as a learning experience
e.g. you may not have done well on your mid-term exam, but that has motivated you to study harder and ace your final exam.

· Make the choice not to over-react to stressors and deal with them one at a time
           e.g. take a few deep breaths and carry on.

· Take an objective view of your stressor
e.g. is preparing dinner for 12 people really that horrible?

· Communicate!
Don’t ruminate or bottle up your emotions, as this will lead to an explosion later on.

· Accept yourself (and others).
No one is perfect and there is always room for mistakes.

· Make connections with people
Social support is key!

· Deal effectively with mistakes
i.e. Learn from your mistakes and apply them to future decision making.

· Deal effectively with successes also!
This will build on your competence.

· Develop self-discipline and control
e.g. train yourself to study harder in preparation for your final exam, or train yourself to work out four times a week to lose those pounds you gained since last Thanksgiving dinner!

· Maintenance!
Practice, practice, practice for a long life of resilient living!

Now that you know how to recognize your stress and you know the different coping strategies, you just need to find the coping strategies that work best for you and apply them to your daily life. 

 

37. Essay Strength and weakness of my character

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