Coping mechanisms are the thought and behavioral strategies people use to manage stress, trauma and painful emotions. Life is challenging. Experience often creates stress. Healthy coping skills assists with adjustment to the demands, helping us maintain emotional well-being in harsh circumstances.
Effective coping mechanisms enhance our skills of tolerating the frustrations, minimizing the impact so we can continue to progress. Coping should manage stress, relieving the weight of physical and psychological strain, allowing healthy performance.
Not all coping mechanisms are productive. Some manage present stress at the cost of present or future performance. Many coping mechanisms are attractive but costly, providing quick relief but creating weightier challenges later.
Coping Mechanisms vs. Defense Mechanisms
Coping mechanisms typically refer to conscious and voluntary acts intended to reduce stress. Defense mechanisms are subconscious or unconscious adaptive responses.
A healthy approach is identify defense mechanisms that hider growth and replace them with healthy coping mechanisms. Often this requires professional guidance.
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