By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC
Everyone experiences stress to some level on a daily basis. Stress is when the outside world gets inside of us. Not all stress is bad, in fact some stress may actually be good. A little bit of stress—just the right amount—can actually help improve our performance.
Stress is the biological, psychological, emotional, behavioral, and social responses to a stressor, which is the real or imagined event that sets things off. To thrive in life we need effective strategies to cope with stress.
We all have different ways of coping with stress. One way to measure coping is to use the Ways of Coping Questionnaire, developed by psychological researchers Folkman and Lazarus. This 66 item questionnaire divides coping into eight different categories or strategies.
Here are the 8 strategies, further divided into active and passive methods of coping:
4 Active Coping Strategies
- Confrontive coping: You take action and confront the problem.
- Seeking social support: You seek informational and emotional support. An extremely effective strategy.
- Planful problem-solving: You make a deliberate and analytical plan to solve the problem. Also an extremely effective strategy.
- Positive reappraisal: You try to create a positive meaning and focus on personal growth.
4 Passive Coping Strategies
- Distancing: You expect that the problem solves itself (involves detachment). This is the second to least effective strategy.
- Self-controlling: You make efforts to regulate feelings and actions.
- Accepting responsibility: You accept your own role in the problem.
- Escape-avoidance: You try to avoid the problem by wishful thinking and behavioral efforts. This is the least effective strategy.
Which is your go-to strategy for coping with stress?
The best strategies for coping with stress are seeking social support and planful problem-solving. So the next time you feel stressed-out, reach out to healthy community for support and/or sit down and think through an analytical plan to tackle the problem.
In addition to social support and planful problem-solving, I am a big fan of prayer, meditation and exercise for stress management. If you aren’t already incorporating these tools into your life, perhaps now is the time to start!
About Randy Moraitis
Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)
Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.