PSY 4420 Week 4 Assignment 2 How Do We Cope
How Do You Cope?
How People Cope With Stressful Situations
Coping occurs in response to psychological stress—usually triggered by changes—in an effort to maintain mental health and emotional well-being. Life stressors are often described as negative events (the death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, etc.); however, positive changes in life (marriage, birth, moving, a new job, etc.) can also constitute life stressors, thus requiring the use of coping skills to adapt. Coping strategies are the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that you use to adjust to the changes that occur in your life.
There are many coping styles that people use, and some may prove more effective than others, depending on the nature of the stressful situation and the person who is employing them. Ineffective coping mechanisms, also referred to as maladaptive coping, may also be applied to stressful events or internal conflict, often unconsciously. Maladaptive coping mechanisms are counterproductive.
Among researchers, coping styles are commonly assigned broad categories that draw distinctions between methods. For example, instrumental coping (referred to as problem-solving) focuses on ways to tackle the issue in order to reduce stress around a given situation, while emotion-focused coping gathers tools to nurture one’s emotional health during the stressful period. Additionally, coping is identified as being either active or avoidant. Active coping strategies involve an awareness of the stressor, followed by attempts to reduce the negative outcome. By contrast, avoidant coping is characterized by ignoring the issue, often resulting in activities that aid in the denial of the problem (e.g., drinking, sleeping, isolating).
Specific Coping Strategies
Now that we’ve examined common styles of coping, let us take a look at specific coping strategies:
Humor. Pointing out the amusing aspects of the problem at hand, or “positive reframing,” is thought to help deal with small failures.
Seeking support. Asking for help, or finding emotional support from family members or friends, can be an effective way of maintaining emotional health during a stressful period.
Problem-solving. As described above, problem solving is an instrumental coping mechanism that aims to locate the source of the problem and determine solutions. This coping mechanism is often helpful in work situations.
Relaxation. Engaging in relaxing activities, or practicing calming techniques, can help to manage stress and improve overall coping.
Physical recreation. Regular exercise, such as running, or team sports, is a good way to handle the stress of given situation. This may involve yoga, meditating, progressive muscle relaxation, among other techniques of relaxation.
Adjusting expectations. Anticipating various outcomes to scenarios in life may assist in preparing for the stress associated with any given change or event.
Denial. Avoidance of the issue altogether may lead to denying that a problem even exists. Denial is usually maintained by distractions, such as excessive alcohol consumption, overworking, or sleeping more than usual.
Self-blame. Internalizing the issue, and blaming oneself (beyond just taking responsibility for one’s actions), leads to low-self esteem and sometimes depression.
Venting. An externalizing coping technique, venting is the outward expression of emotions, usually in the company of friends or family. In moderation it can be healthy; however, ruminating on the negative can lead to strained relationships over time.
How Coping Mechanisms Are Related To Addiction
People who struggle with addictions often employ maladaptive coping mechanisms; some addicts remain in denial (or don’t know how to cope with stress in a healthy way), and others may be blaming themselves for a negative past experience—either of which may lead to using a substance or behavior to escape. The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Clinic can equip addicts with numerous healthy alternatives for coping with stress. Take the first step toward help and make the call now.
Discussion Questions (DQ)
• Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
• Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
• One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
• I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
• Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
• In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
• Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
• Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
• Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
• Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
• I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
• I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
• As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
• It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
• For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
• Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
• Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
• Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
• The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
• Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
• If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
• I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
• As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
• Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
o Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
o Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.