Develop 5 Helpful Coping Mechanisms Today

Ninarika Rajendra

Updated on:

woman looking for coping mechanisms

Everyone has a few coping mechanisms. Being aware of it will prove ultimately beneficial for your mental health.

There is a need to develop this mechanism as a psychological advancement. Our article tells you all you need to know about coping mechanisms and how you need to develop specific curated ones for yourself.

Read and implement the methods down below to develop the best coping mechanisms.

What are Coping Mechanisms?

Coping mechanisms are strategies that people often use in when facing difficult situations. These can include phase of stress or trauma to help themselves manage the painful, difficult emotions.

woman with hands on her face

Coping mechanisms helps people to adjust to the stressful events and situations that they go through in life. It helps them maintain their emotional well being and be more level headed.

There are significant life events that take place, and they could either be positive or negative and can also cause psychological stress. There are some difficult events or moments in life, like divorce or miscarriage that can make the person suffer from grief and distress. But there are some positive events like marriage, having a child that also bring about a significant amount of stress. To adjust themselves to these events people utilize some combination of thoughts, behavior and emotion depending on the situation.

stressed man

People also use coping mechanisms for stress management or to cope up with anger, loneliness, anxiety or even depression.

Coping Mechanisms vs Defense Mechanisms

Some people get confused between coping mechanisms and defence mechanisms.
They share some similarities but they are different.

  1. Defense mechanisms occur mostly at an unconscious level where people are unaware that they are using them. On the other hand coping mechanisms are typically conscious and purposeful.
woman with maladaptive coping mechanisms

2. Coping mechanisms manage an external situation that’s creating a problem for an individual, while defense mechanism changes a person’s internal psychological state.

Coping Styles and Mechanisms

Coping mechanisms can also focus on emotions, problems and instruments. Problem focused coping strategy is associated with problems that deals with stress. While emotion coping mechanism focuses on handling the feelings and distress that is causing the problem to the individual.

woman lying in bed

Coping mechanism can also be categorized into active and avoidant. Active coping mechanism involve an awareness of the stressor and makes conscious attempt to reduce the stress. Avoidant coping mechanism ignores the problem and avoid it.

Sometimes the coping mechanisms are not effective and they don’t even work for a long period of time. They are called as “maladaptive coping” mechanisms. Adaptive coping mechanisms are found to be healthy and can give effective ways to manage stressful situations. Change yourself for the better and learn those 7 techniques here.

Types of Coping Mechanisms

The most commonly used coping mechanisms are as follows:

1. Support

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To talk about your stressful situation to a supportive person is an effective way to manage stress. When you seek help or support from others it’s better, because the practice where you examine and self isolate yourself to get rid of stress is counterproductive. It’s a negative effect of stress that will make you fall into an even difficult situation.

2. Relaxing

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When you perform any kind of activities that relax you, you are eventually getting away from stress. Relaxing activities can include meditating, muscle relaxation, or any other calming technique. Take a look at these ways to calm yourself.

3. Solve your Problems

This coping mechanism helps you to identify a problem that is causing you to stress and then put a solution to it and manage it effectively.

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4. Humor

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Make the moment light, watch some comedy shows that will help you keep the stress away. It prevents a situation from becoming overwhelming.

5. Exercise

When you exercise you are doing a healthy form of activity to get relieved from stress. Running, yoga, Zumba other activities will help you cope with stress. See how meditation and yoga can become an effective coping mechanisms.

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These were some of the most common coping mechanisms which you can come in real handy in a lot of situations.

Take a look down below at the maladaptive coping mechanisms to avoid.

Types of Maladaptive Coping Mechanisms

#1 Escaping

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Some people escape from a situation , eg: to cope with anxiety or stress people will escape from friends or society and abandon themselves. They might be comfortable with watching television, or spend their time reading online.

#2 Self Harming

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People also sometimes harm themselves to get out of a stressful situation. No situation should encourage you to harm yourself. If such negative energy surround you; the best would be to get out of it.

#3 Risk Taking and Compulsions

Stress will also encourage a person to take risk and engage in behaviors such as gambling, experimenting with drugs or reckless driving.

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Judge yourself beforehand to see if you are falling prey to such coping mechanisms.

Coping Mechanisms & Their Effect on Mental Health

The usage of coping skills can often help to improve mental health and contribute to emotional well being. People who adjust to stressful, traumatic situations through productive coping mechanisms are likely to experience less anxiety, depression and other health concerns.

People who find themselves defaulting the coping mechanism experience difficulty in utilising the defective coping strategy that is having a negative impact on well being and mental health.

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If you experience stress and do not know how to cope up with it then visit a therapist or any mental health professional. They will definitely help you to cope with it. Therapists will provide you information and support you to cope up with the skill of getting away from stress.

Become aware of your default coping mechanisms and the ones that you need to develop. The goal must be to find out those skills that work the best for you.


So from above, you can understand what coping mechanisms are, and how you can use them to get rid of stress. Now that you know everything about skills that help you cope, you can easily manipulate your psyche and deal with situations effectively.

If you feel these steps would help you cope with stress, then comment down below.