Psychology Strategies for Coping With Stress

Although the holiday  break of Thanksgiving is coming, making the lastsolving_problems-1[1] week of November seem longer than it is once we are dining with our families and thinking about what to snag on Black Friday, the return to Penn State will shatter us back into a reality of struggle as we prep for final exams or add finishing touches to our final papers. According to the modern psychology, stress can come in different forms and bring different impacts. Catastrophes are unexpected and cause massive stress, while hassles are daily annoyances ranging from burning your tongue on a cup of coffee or failing to the perfect knot on our ties. One could further divide stressors to situations where the person has or does not have control, with the uncontrollable stressors being the more strenuous. But one thing these stressors all have in common is change. Maybe it’s your environment or your friend. Even if your life had never changed for 10 years and you become bored of your lifestyle, you still experience a change in attitude.negative_684275f[1]

    So how do we deal with change and the stress it will cause? They’re two ways to first look at a situation before coming up with the plan, which brings us to emotion-coping methods and problem-solving methods. Emotion-coping is to change the way one feels about the stress, therefore assuaging the problem. For example, smiling even when the expression is not genuine, is shown to genuinely reduce stress levels. Problem-based solutions are looking at what steps can one take in order to make the problem go away. People stressed about a paper may break down the problem into smaller hassles and then proceed one step at a time until the paper is completed. Notice how situations can call for different types of stress reduction. Emotion-coping works better with problems that are uncontrollable, while problem solving methods cannot help solve unchangeable problems.

5 thoughts on “Psychology Strategies for Coping With Stress

  1. sxh5487

    I thought this was an interesting topic, because it is almost like the Ted Talk we watched where she told us to “fake it until you become it” which I think is directly attributed to the emotion-coping solution. You did choose a very valid topic for these coming weeks, because I know Monday morning will be extremely rough. Here’s to hoping I can smile through it!

  2. okk5026

    Stress seems to be a popular blogging topic: even as we start Thanksgiving break, finals week and all the assignments due during that time still linger in the back of our minds. Since it’s so relevant, it’s interesting to read a post that takes about the psychology of stress and not only about ways to cope with it. I like how you made the distinction between problems you can change and problem you can’t; sometimes people forget this when they’re facing something difficult, and either blame themselves or direct their energy towards the wrong thing.

  3. Marissa

    Stress is such a relevant topic to all college students. Literally everyday I say to myself, “I’m so stressed out.” Your title really intrigued me and you chose some very interesting theories and idea to talk about. It is cool to think about the actually psychology of stress and how we can force ourselves to think differently and feel differently. I am a little hesitant about the smiling suggestion because, but maybe I should give it a try- haha! Thanks for sharing.

  4. srs5825

    Stress is most definitely one of the hardest things to handle in college because it’s so easy to become overwhelmed when you’re away from your family and take on new responsibilities all while trying to stay afloat academically. I liked your suggestion on breaking down stress into smaller problems and then handling them one at a time. I often find that looking at the bigger picture or larger problem makes everything seem more stressful, but breaking it down makes things seem more approachable and easier to take care of. I hope you have a wonderful (and stress-free) Thanksgiving break!

  5. Kysesen Maravich

    Interesting, it makes sense that different situations stimulate different kinds of stress. I’m surprised that our body/brain doesn’t realize we’re faking a smile even though we are in a stressful situation. Maybe I’ll try smiling through my exams in a few weeks, even though I might get some strange looks!

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