Strategies of stress coping

afrontar el estrés

We live in a society accelerated in which it seems that the one who does not live estresado is the fracasado. Walk always to tope of work and of tasks for doing has turned into synonymous fictitious of success. However, it is convenient to know strategies to face the high levels of stress, since when rebasamos the optimum levels of resistance to the stress can arise problems that break the balance of our lives.

Definition of stress.

The stress is a psychological process that creates  in front of a demanding situation of the organism in front of which do not have sufficient information or suitable answers to resolve it by what activate  psychophysiologic mechanisms that allow us collect more information and process it of form faster to resolve the demand demanded of suitable form.

The stress is an adaptative process that involves emotional and motivational activities that allows us resolve problems. It is therefore beneficial for our daily lives, but has a limit that if it exceeds  can have negative repercussions on the health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines it like a group of physiological reactions that prepares to the organism for the action.

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Differences between stress and anxiety.

The anxiety requires of the resources of the stress for his afrontamiento by what in occasions are difficult to differentiate, especially in extreme situations of activation. The main difference between stress and anxiety is emotional. The stress can have a tone hedónico positive or negative in function of the emotion that need  to solve the demand. However, the anxiety the affection showed always is negative. Besides, the stress is a phenomenon proactivo and versatile whereas the one of anxiety is an emotional situation carente of alternatives of answer.

General syndrome of adaptation: negative effects of the stress.

  • Physical effects: muscular tension (neck, shoulders, trapezes…); cefaleas Tensional; unrest estomacal; taquicardias; fault of air; tremors, sudoración, etc.
  • Emotional effects: irritability, impatience, anxiety, fault of concentration, negativismo, fault of interest, etc.
  • Effects comportamentales: disorders of the appetite; abuse of drugs; sleeplessness; acceleration and mental blockades; bad interpersonal relations.

Symbolically, can compare it with the physical stress that an elastic rubber bears when we throw of her, although it is able to go back to his natural state of balance if we subject it to a lot of stress can break.

18 strategies of afrontamiento in front of the stress.

The afrontamiento or coping in front of the stress does reference to the cognitive effort and conductual and of character cambiante that makes  to handle the external specific demands or interns that are evaluated of form desbordante for the person.

They are diverse the strategies of afrontamiento in front of the stress, collect here the 18 more important strategies according to the science recopiladas by Fernández-Abascal (2003):

  1. Reevaluación Positive. Afrontamiento Active focused to create a new meaning to the situation problem, trying take out the positive part.
  2. Reaction depresiva. The person feels  desbordada by the situation and focuses it of pessimistic way.
  3. Negation. Absence of acceptance of the problem, by what avoids  distorting the reality so that his assessment was in accordance with our assessment.
  4. Planning. Rational analysis of the problem to generate strategies that can alter the situation problem.
  5. Conformism. It gives  when the individual has feeling of fault of personal control on the consequences of the problem and accepts the situation as it comes.
  6. Mental disconnection. Thoughts distractivos to avoid think in the problem. It is what sucede when we apply the technician of the polar bear.
  7. Personal development. The situation supposes a stimulus of learning that serves to improve our personal capacities.
  8. Emotional control. Regularisation of the resources for mamenar or hide our feelings.
  9. Distance. Cognitive suppression of the emotional effects that involves the problem.
  10. Suppression of activities distractoras. Research of solutions centring exclusively in the objective problem.
  11. Refrain the afrontamiento. Not doing at all until it do not have  more information on the problem.
  12. Avoid the afrontamiento. Not doing at all but with the forecast that anything that do can worsen the situation.
  13. Resolution of the problem. Realisation of a direct action and rational to solve the problem.
  14. Social support to the problem. Look for information and council in the other on the possible solutions to the problem.
  15. Disconnection comportamental. Avoidance of the solution to the problem.
  16. Emotional expression. Expressive demonstrations of the emotional reaction fruit of the problem.
  17. Emotional social support. Research of understanding in the other on the situation problem.
  18. Palliative answer. Research of situations that avoid the situation estresante or do us feel better (eat, smoke, drink…)

As it can observe  no all the answers of afrontamiento, although they succeed to relieve the stress can have negative effects, as if of secondary effects treated  by what the own afrontamiento if it is not in positive can go back  pathological. If a strategy works will keep  in repeated occasions by what choose the healthiest and the one who contribute us elder resiliencia will be key to fall in resolutions of problems vanales and little constructive for our personal development.

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Health and stress: people with high resistance to the stress.

In general, the people with a healthy predisposition in front of situations estresantes confer some characteristics of resistant personality to the stress that generally base  in possessing personal beliefs in which they predominate the feeling of command (locus of internal control) and the confidence in the resolution of the problem (autoeficacia). To these two shots join them  shots of the personality like the optimism or a good sense of coherence. Taking into account these shots could say that the people with high resistance to the stress share these four main characteristics:

  • They accept the changes. Already they are positive or negative. They are perceived like something unavoidable of the life. For these people the changes can be an opportunity of growth more than a threat to his own person. They are people with a high resiliencia.
  • They are not catastrofistas. They do not do negative evaluations and without remedy.
  • Have a high autoeficacia perceived. That is to say, they trust his own capacities to solve problems. They perceive  like valuable people.
  • They are social beings. They feel  strongly involved with family, friends or mates by what his network of support is wide.
  • High sense of the commitment. They are people with high capacity of dedication and direction in his life and personal aims.




Fernández-Abascal, And.G., Jiménez, M.P., Martín M.D. (2003). Emotion and Motivation: The human adaptation. Madrid: Ed. Centre of Studies Ramón Areces.

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Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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