coping part 2
Welcome to the second part of our interactive coping pages. Here, you can use different tools and resources to help you to develop effective strategies for coping with stressful situations.
As this page deals with topics that involve thinking about stress, it's a good idea to go through the page with a friend or family member who you can trust, if you feel you might need a bit of extra support.
How to use this page...
As a rough estimate, this page could take around 45 minutes to complete, but take it at your own pace. It's OK to take less or more time than that. We'd strongly recommend having another way of recording your input on this page as what you enter cannot be saved, perhaps you could use...
The notes section on your phone
A pen and paper
A separate Word document
Before we get started, take some time to think about specific situations that might typically make you feel stressed out or anxious.
To get some ideas going, potential examples might be sitting your driving test, or perhaps interacting with someone who you don't always see eye to eye with.
This is your personal space to reflect on situations that might be challenging for you, so there are no right or wrong answers.
COPING SKILLS & STRATEGIES
Let's have a quick recap of what we looked at in part 1 of the interactive coping pages. In part 1, we looked at the 2x2 coping grid of the different skills and strategies you can choose from, when faced with a stressful situation.
As a reminder, we can choose to manage the situation in a situation- or emotion-focused way; and we can either use approach or avoidance.
If you're not familiar with these techiques and would like to learn more, it's a good idea to go through part 1 before completing the rest of this page.
One way to help us to manage stressful situations is to use reframing. This is when you interpret thoughts, emotions or situations in a different, more helpful way. This is an effective mental skill that you can develop to help you to cope with challenging circumstances. Hover over the boxes below for examples of how to reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones.
Not only is the reframed situation more positive, it's also likely to be a lot more realistic, balanced and in proportion, as you are taking all of the contextual information into consideration, before deciding how to interpret your thoughts or feelings.
Reframing can be a tricky skill at first, but with practice, it can become easier.
I FAILED MY EXAM, I WON'T EVER PASS
This is a learning experience and an opportunity to improve my knowledge and skills. With practice, I might be able to try again.
I MADE A SUGGESTION AT WORK THAT NO-ONE LIKED, I'M BAD AT MY JOB
Some people did tell me they liked my suggestion, and I am often complimented on my good ideas. That the majority didn't like this one idea doesn't affect my ability to do my job well.
I'M ANXIOUS ABOUT MY JOB INTERVIEW
I have done lots of preparation for this interview and am excited to give it my best shot.
I WOKE UP IN A BAD MOOD, THE WHOLE DAY IS A WRITE-OFF
I am aware of my emotions and have been practising how to regulate them. I can take a deep breath and start again. There are plenty of opportunities to turn my day around.
Take a moment to come up with your own example of a negative thought that you could reframe to make it more positive.
It's a good idea to think of what advice you might give to a friend who is facing a stressful situation. How would you help that friend to see the situation differently?
REMEMBER TO STOP
Taking everything we've covered in parts 1 and 2 into consideration, a simple and effective tool for coping with stressful situations is to use the STOP technique:
Stop. Don't act immediately
Take a deep breath
Options (thinking). What coping strategies can I use?
Practise skills (action). Whether it's situation- or emotion-focussed, it's key to practise your coping skills.
We can also add in another 'P':
Pull back and get perspective. What does the bigger picture look like? Is this thought a fact or opinion? How important is this? Will it be important in 6 months' time?
The STOP tool originates from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), where it is used to challenge and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours to help you to cope better.
Try out part 1 of our interactive coping pages to see the 2x2 coping grid.
When thinking through your options, consider where on the coping grid you want to be under the specific circumstances of your situation. Which place on the grid is most likely to lead to a desirable outcome?
Notice whether there are any grounding techniques that could help you when you're using the STOP tool.
For example, perhaps you find the Deep Breathing or 5-4-3-2-1 techniques useful for slowing down your thoughts and regulating your emotions?
THE STOP TOOL IN ACTION
Great job so far! We've covered a lot on this page, so feel free to take a short break if you need to. This next section is an added extra if you're feeling up to it.
In this final section, you have the opportunity to tie everything we've looked at together, by reflecting on how the STOP tool can help you to cope with stressful situations.
Use the text boxes and sliders below to decide how easy each step of the STOP tool is and the ways in which it could help you; and practise reframing a negative thought into a more supportive one.
If you enjoy using the text boxes and sliders as a way to reflect, you can check out our other interactive tools, such as the if/then planning page.
how easy is it to stop in that moment?
Not at all
How helpful would reframing be?
Not at all
LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS
We hope young found this interactive page helpful for reflecting on how to cope more effectively with stressful situations. We recommend keeping a personal copy of your answers, as the work on here cannot be saved.
Just as a reminder, we have a copy of the STOP tool included in our Mental Skills Training Toolkit, which is FREE to download.
You can now subscribe to our blog for lots of top tips and information around how to manage stress.
Finally, we'd love to know what you thought of this page. How helpful did you find it? What else could we have included to make it more informative? Were there any technical glitches? Or any other comments! Just type you feedback in the box below and press send :)