Two Ways to Cope with Stress

I found this interesting and thought you might, too.

Got stress? According to an extensive Harvard Study of Adult Development, there are two distinctive ways we manage stress and relieve anxiety: adaptive and maladaptive.

Adaptive coping methods include:

  • Sublimation: If you feel aggression, you might participate in a competitive sport or, if you are sad, you might create art.
  • Altruism: If you struggle with addiction, for example, you sponsor an addict to help you stay sober.
  • Suppression: If you’re worried about job cuts at your company, you put those worries out of your mind until you can do something to plan for your future.

Maladaptive coping methods include:

  • Denial: Refusing to accept or believe your current situation.
  • Acting Out: Exhibiting unrestrained or improper actions, like yelling.
  • Projection: Taking feelings we have about ourselves and focusing them on others.

The researchers found those who used proactive, positive adaptive methods had better relationships, which then led to more social support and healthier brains as they aged.

Think of something that causes you stress, like added responsibilities at work. How can you use adaptive methods to begin to relieve that stress?

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