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There are many ways to deal with stress. The table below (reprinted from Wellness: Concepts and Applications*) lists positive ways to cope. See how many you use to deal with stress. If you have trouble filling out this chart, you may want to track your stress for a few days and then try again.
Positive ways to cope
Not at all
Listen to music
Go shopping with a friend
Watch television, go to a movie
Read a newspaper, magazine, book
Sit alone in the peaceful outdoors
Write prose or poetry
Attend an athletic event, play, lecture, symphony
Go for a walk or drive
Exercise (swim, bike, jog)
Get deeply involved in some other activity
Play with a pet
Take a nap
Get outdoors, enjoy nature
Write in a journal
Practice deep breathing, meditation, autogenics, or muscle relaxation
Straighten up your desk or work area
Take a bath or shower
Do physical work (garden, paint)
Make home repairs or refinish furniture
Buy something (records, books)
Play a game (chess, backgammon, video games)
Pray, go to church
Discuss situations with a spouse or close friend
Now see if you use any of these negative ways to deal with stress.
Negative ways to cope
Use negative self-talk
Yell at spouse, kids, or friends
Drink a lot of coffee or tea
Take a tranquilizing drug
Avoid social contact with others
Try to anticipate the worst possible outcomes
Think about suicide
Chew your fingernails
Overeat or undereat
Become irritable or short-tempered
Kick something or throw something
Drive fast in your car
Scoring Instructions: Count the number of positive and negative coping techniques you use.
Number of positive techniques: _______
Number of negative techniques: _______
How often do you use negative coping strategies? ____________________
Do you use more positive than negative strategies or the reverse? ________________________
Do you recognize a need to change some of the techniques you are now using? If so, which ones? ___________________________________
What are some ways in which you can maximize your use of positive coping techniques? How can you minimize your negative ones? _______________
Used with permission: Anspaugh DJ, et al. (2009). Wellness: Concepts and Applications, 7th ed. © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineChristine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
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