Improve your stress management skills
Just how well do you cope with and manage stress? Which skills would most improve your ability to handle stress and anxiety?
Our coping skills test will provide you with insight into your ability to handle stressful situations and deal with anxiety. Use the results to identify your shortcomings in stress management and focus on the stress management skills which will help you the most.
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How do you handle stress?
Stress has affected every single one of us at some stage of our lives. The gut wrenching cloud of stress casts a shadow over everything. Learning how well you cope with stress, your weaknesses, which of those weaknesses contribute to your levels of stress and which factors to focus on improving can greatly improve the quality of your life.
- Are you good at venting your emotions?
- Do you leverage others for support?
- Are you stuck in denial?
- Are you able to use humour to cope?
- Are certain substances contributing to your anxiety?
No matter the source of your stress numerous studies have confirmed that venting your frustrations does indeed help.
Venting is just one technique of coping with stress which benefits from support of those around you. An understanding ear is an invaluable resource but be careful who you choose to confide in. Research conducted on doctors at the University of Bedfordshire revealed that support from family, management and consultants was effective but support from co-workers was not. When choosing someone to confide in ask if they're likely to understand, be interested in your well being, offer useful feedback or even assist in dealing with your stress.
The many forms of denial become a problem when it prevents us from addressing the underlying causes of our stress. It is of course difficult to self identify if you're in denial which is why our stress management test can be particularly useful in identifying the next course of action. You can learn more about the different types of denial here.
Humour is an effective coping mechanism but the type and context of the humour are important. Negative humour tends not to work well in reducing stress and humour unrelated to the stress is also ineffective. Finding a fun and positive way to make light of the situation can definitely help.
When we're stressed our levels of cortisol (the primary stress hormone) rise. There are many substances which contribute and can compound the amount of cortisol released leading to greater anxiety and stress. Caffeine, alcohol, nictotine, sugar and many other substances all increase cortisol production and so we should avoid them while dealing with stress.
Why it's important to deal with stress
Stress sustained over long period of time is extremely taxing and quite damaging to our health. People suffering from stress suffer from a lack of sleep, tension, irritability, heart problems and anxiety. In addition to the physical symptoms people experiencing stress have a greater tendency to engage in behaviour which is also damaging such as substance abuse and poor eating habits. Understanding your ability to cope with stress is the first step in identifying a solution.
A. Bowers, A. Sochos, P03-408 - Work stress, social support, and burnout in junior doctors: A cross-sectional study, European Psychiatry, Volume 26, Supplement 1, 2011, Page 1578, ISSN 0924-9338, 10.1016/S0924-9338(11)73282-5.
Humour as emotion regulation: The differential consequences of negative versus positive humour Andrea C. Samson, James J. Gross Cognition & Emotion Vol. 26, Iss. 2, 2012
You will almost never separate yourself from a stressful situation and will not reduce your efforts to deal with the stressor at all, even in very stressful situations. You have a strong religion or philosophy that you turn to when life becomes stressful.