Pro-active Coping Strategies
Pro-active Coping Strategies
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Types of mental disorder
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Seize the Day – Seize Today

The various ways in which we cope with “stressors” are known as our coping strategies. Usually, we use these techniques - to react to our “stressors”. In this relationship, the stressor comes first, and our reaction (coping strategy) comes second. Our coping strategies are “re-active” in nature, because it is the stressor and not us that is in control.

A far healthier, and more sensible approach is to devise and implement coping strategies that we can use before the stressful situation occurs and defuses it. Such strategies would not be re-active but pro-active.

Clearly the key to pro-active coping is to be aware of our stressors. Once we are able to identify (and anticipate) potential stressors in advance; we will be able to act in advance. Such action would serve to either prevent / eliminate entirely (or greatly reduce) the stressor’s impact.

Being pro-active is all about forward planning and realistic goal attainment. This ‘preventative’ strategy will require us to…

1.      Set our own goals

2.      Consider all of our behavioural options and their effectiveness. Involve others if possible. This would be a good time to brainstorm and devise a number of hypothetical battle plans.

3.      Whatever battle plan we devise it will probably work better if it is broken down into a number of manageable components.

4.      Anticipate potential stressors and the initiation of preparation before these stressors overwhelm us.

5.      If possible, try to involve others at every step in the process of taking your control away from the stressor. Not just in the planning phase but also when push turns to shove.

6.      Do not bottle up your emotions. Be honest about your feelings not only with others but also with yourself. Tackling our stressors is difficult and can be extremely painful. But do not bottle up. Disclose your feelings.

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