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Stress and Coping

Stress in psychology (as opposed to physics or biology) is defined as a feeling of strain or pressure. Stress is a large umbrella term that covers a large field of phenomena. Naturally stress has a long list of possible symptoms including: irritability, fatigue, insomnia, rashes, blood pressure changes, loss of appetite, depression, insecurity, panic attacks, etc. But, it is often proven that a small dosage of stress can actually be beneficial and even healthy. A small amount of stress can positively affect athletic or mental performance. Stress can arise from a wide variety of stressors. The most common stressors are often crises, catastrophes or major life events. Nonetheless there are also smaller stressors that occur through everyday struggles such as minor decisions, homework, tests, etc.

For all these causes of stress the human psyche has developed numerous coping mechanisms. The first types of mechanisms employed are the adaptive and problem-focused solutions. These can come in the form of affiliation, humour, sublimation, or positive reappraisal. Affiliation is where you make use of your social network to help you cope with stress. Humour, evidently, is when you 'make a joke' out of the situation. Sublimation involves transforming this unwanted stress into something that is preferred through mental power. Lastly, positive reappraisal involves turning your focus away from the stressful situation and instead towards some other positive situations in your life.

Other types of mechanisms employed are inhibition and disavowal mechanisms. These can involve displacement, repression, or reaction formation. Displacement is where you superimpose your stressful emotions onto another less stressful situation thereby mitigating the stress. Repression is when you remove your thoughts and feelings from the stressors in question and disconnect yourself from the situation altogether. Reaction formation is when you force yourself to replace your undesirable emotions with their polar opposites. It is believed by some that these mechanisms can actually increase stress in the long term. The third type of coping mechanisms are active mechanisms. These usually take the form of either acting out or passive aggression.  

Categories within Stress and Coping

Stress Management

Postings: 16

There are different ways that people have developed to cope with stress including adaptive, inhibitive, and active mechanisms.

Cannon's Fight-or-Flight Response

Postings: 1

A natural physiological response that activates the sympathetic nervous system in response to a threat priming the threatened to either fight or flee.

Psychological Appraisal and Stress

Postings: 60

Appraisals are your evaluations of events that create a certain set of emotions. These appraisals can lead to varying levels of stress.

Physiology of Stress

Postings: 7

Stress in terms of physiology is the effect of a disturbance in the body's natural homeostatic state and its reaction to return to homeostasis.

Stressful Life Events

Postings: 3

These can be anything from death of a relative to choosing a university to attend.

Job Stressors

Evaluate your current or previous employment. What are some potential job stressors that may affect you specifically? How can these stressors affect job behavior and performance? How can you avoid these stressors?

Work Stress and General Adaptation Syndrome

Effects of Stress: You are currently an associate at an advertising agency where you have worked for two years. You are pursuing a promotion to the position of advertising executive. While you have expected to put in extra hours and some added responsibility as part of earning the promotion, your boss has increased your workl