The 5 Keys to Coping with Stress

Yesterday the folks at released results of a study showing how happy people handle stressful situations.  How do people who are genuinely happy cope with stressful times?

Okay, so you might be rolling your eyes right now, but bear with me.  This, my friends, is fascinating.

Here’s why.  Managing stress is not only important for our emotional health but it is vital for our physical health as well.  During times of stress, any (or all) of the following may occur: increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, changes in breathing patterns, tense muscles, disrupted sleep patterns,  weakened digestive system, and lower immune system resistance.   The effects of stress can takes a serious toll on one’s health, so understanding resiliency and coping techniques might enable us to keep people not only happier, but physically healthier too.

So, why do happier people show more resilience in stressful times while others have more difficulty?  The study looked at 1,434 people who are very happy with their life and found five common factors in coping with stress:

  • Techniques for Coping with Stress 1 of 6
    The Five Techniques for Coping with Stress

    Here are the five ways that happy people cope with stressful situations. Which one of these do you use?

  • Problem-Solving Technique 2 of 6
    Problem Solving Technique

    Happy people take active steps to discover the underlying cause of stress and find ways to either solve or improve their situation. They approach stress in a more systematic, practical way.

  • Positive Recognitive Structuring Technique 3 of 6
    Positive Cognitive Restructuring Technique

    Happy people can look at a problem or source of stress from a different, more empowering angle.  They find a silver lining to the issue or change the way they think about it.

  • Negotiation Technique 4 of 6
    Negotiation Technique

    By compromising and negotiating, happy people can lessen their own aggravation levels.  They are able to adjust their attitude or outlook in order to adapt to a stressful situation.

  • Emotional Regulation Technique 5 of 6
    Emotional regulation technique

    Happy people recognize the need to calm themselves down before tackling a stressful situation.  They look for a way to release  excess energy in order to see the situation from a less emotional and more rational perspective.

  • Distraction Technique 6 of 6
    Distraction Technique

    Along the lines of emotional regulation, some happy people distract themselves by socializing and enjoying themselves.  This allows them to take their mind off of their stressful situation until they are emotionally ready to find a solution.

Here is my take on the study.  Though it is certainly interesting, this research looks at one side of the happiness coin but has yet to study the other side.  When we find out for certain that unhappy people do not utilize these five coping techniques, then I will be more likely to buy into the data.

However, as a parent one of my jobs is to teach my children how to handle disappointment and stress.  If more research confirms these techniques, it may provide a strong guideline for parents who want to help their kids learn to manage stressful situations with ease.

By the way, if you are interested in seeing their Coping & Stress Management Skills Test, it can be found at:

How do you cope with stress?


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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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