Coping with life starting to get your down. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had one of those, “I must be under someone’s wicked spell” weeks? Sometimes there are days when every phone call, piece of mail or  social interaction is bad news. Keep you hand up if on top of that, any task or activity you begin ends with something breaking down, spilling over, leaking out or going up in flames. Oh good, we’re on the same page!


Coping: What is it?

…is what we think and do to manage the parts of the outside world or our inner world, that we’ve judged to be the cause of our stress and tension. External pressure comes from unexpected life events, the strain of ongoing and disappointing circumstances, and from everyday hassles. The internal causes of your stress and anxiety may have started with an illness, errors in thinking that resulted in problem behaviors or habits, and false beliefs about yourself or the world around you. There’s also a double whammy, what began as an outside stressor, such a rotten job, sooner or later can affect your health or your outlook on life. Similarly, poor health, problem behaviors or impaired thinking can worsen the impact of life events. The result is no matter where turn there’s a problem. Isn’t life grand?


Life Happens

Life happens, and events can pack a mean punch affecting us physically and psychologically. Heart disease, autoimmune disorders, anxiety–related disorders, interpersonal difficulties and depression can worsen or be the result of stressful events. What’s more, over time uneasy changes such as illness, lousy job, and financial difficulties slowly wear you down resulting in an inability to manage even minor mishaps. You know like on those mornings when spilling coffee makes you cry. Events such as natural disasters can ripple out affecting every relationship ad connection in your world. The after effects of a major earthquake, for example, may have you dealing with the death of a family member, friend or associate, losing your home job or physical injury.

CopingThe impact of any life event depends on how you think and evaluate the situation. Losing a job, for example, has much more significance if it was the source of your self-confidence and self-esteem.

More About Coping, Depression and Anxiety

(Coping Skills)

Coping requires an accurate appraisal of the situation followed by using a combination of problem-focused coping skills and emotion-focused coping skills. Problem-focused coping is taking an action to do something about the stressful situation, for example, hiring outside to help manage your personal or professional responsibilities. People manage job-related stress with problem-focused coping skills.  In emotion-focused coping, there’s nothing you can do to alter the outcome of the situation. so, you shift your focus and attempt to manage the emotional cost of stress in order to help maintain emotional balance. If you’re presently dealing with a health-related issue more than likely you’re coping using, emotion-focused coping skills. In addition, the quality, not the quantity of our social network plays a vital role helping us get through difficult times.


As we grow and develop we learn different styles for coping helping us navigate the rough seas encountered during our lifetime. But, no one is perfect, we have gaps in our knowledge, and some of our skills are stronger than others. The important thing to remember is that once you know your weak spots you can learn the necessary skills to feel more confident.  Remember, your ability to cope with the problems that pop-up in your life depends on three levels of confidence.

1. Whether you ‘ll approach the situation or completely avoid it.

2. How much energy you expend to overcome the obstacles encountered trying to manage the event.

3. How long you persist before giving up.

When you don’t feel confident about your ability to handle the situation, you’re less likely to handle it at all. Knowing you’re equipped to meet the demands of life’s problems gives you the feeling of being in control of your life.

At some time or another we all experience stress and pressure in our life. Books, magazine articles and blogs focus on the adverse effects of life’s pressures. Strengthening your coping skills by learning new techniques and strategies is the key to keeping the ill effects of stress at bay. Meeting challenges head on instead of avoiding them because of the emotional pain can turn the negative effects of stressful events into a beneficial experience. Learning to cope with a wide range of problems builds confidence and the feeling you ‘re in control of your life. You’ll not only survive those stressful periods in your life, you’ll grow from them.

Have a banner day!


By | 2017-07-06T11:29:30+00:00 |Categories: Blog|Tags: , |
  • Hello Pamela

    All your posts are always so informative and give an idea to better understand life and its events and react in a better way.

    I first time came to know that when we are coping with any internal or external issue we are following to skills as you said; problem-focused coping skills and emotion-focused coping skills.

    As all of us are different so do we have different capacity of coping problems. All I believe if we have any such situation , first we must not lose hope, have faith on God and then trust our capabilities and try to fight against any internal or external problem.

    It is nice to know that getting to bottom of problem can ease the way out.

  • Marquita Herald

    Well said Pamela and I love the images you use. I focus on the BIG picture and emotional resilience in my writing and coaching and coping is just one small part of the overall capacity for resilience. I especially like your advice to get to the bottom of the problem because so many people look for a quick fix / band-aid solution.

  • crystal Ross

    You are right ! It’s just better to hit your problems dead on. Otherwise they will keep following you. Great advice!

  • I am one who tries not to make mountains out of mole hills. I go through life with a very positive attitude. I will often say to myself, that this too shall pass and then I move on. I do not dwell on what ifs, what could be. Great Post

  • I’ve only just last week witnessed very different ways of coping with the same situation. It absolutely does help at all circumstances if “the glass is half full rather than half empty”, if you know what I mean. Small things are not that big and in fact they don’t really even pile up on top of each other but stay as random and isolated. No “wicked spells” appear.

  • Tim

    Washing your car in the rain saves water…and water is kind of at a premium in CA 🙂
    I have had some rough moments over the last few years, as well as some polar opposite ones, and I was tested in how I coped. I can relate to this article and appreciate you laying it all out as a kind of reference. I do think as you get older the doctrine of “dont sweat the small stuff” becomes much more a part of daily life.

  • Some of these approaches probably come about without even realizing we are using them. It is helpful to have it all spelled out like this.

  • I am one of those that has to meet life’s challenges head on – if not, I just worry and stew about it with devastating effects. Great post.

  • As a senior moderator in a peer-to-peer online community for chronic face pain patients, I see exceptional examples of coping under pressure — both in pain patients and in their care givers. Some of your organizing points will be familiar to members of this community. But a reminder of what we can do to manage the emotional and dimensions of stress is never out of order. I will share your blog with several Facebook groups.

    Thanks for your insights,

    Richard A. “Red” Lawhern, Ph.D.
    Resident Research Analyst
    “Living with TN” — a community within the Ben’s Friends cluster.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    Great discussion and especially timely, given the time of year when stress just keeps on coming:) I’m not sure how we acquire coping skills, but it seems that some have stronger skills than others and you certainly have taught me why that is! I have friends that hide under the proverbial bed, others that keep putting one foot ahead of another…so I guess it does come down to a certain level of confidence. Very informative post!


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