How To Develop Coping Skills for Depression, Stress & Anxiety

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Coping Skills Strategies & How to Develop High5

Coping skills are crucial for marinating emotional stability. Inevitably, everyone goes through some loss or turbulence during their lives. While everyone deals with such tragedies differently, unhealthy coping skills have become more and more popular in the general population.

People often neglect to learn about such skills, for they assume they can handle their emotions effectively, even after negative life events. However, this is not usually the case. Not having the proper coping strategies and mechanisms could extend the length of your grief beyond a point you are comfortable.

Your emotions may start to interfere with your work quality and overall happiness. It can make overcoming difficult times even more challenging. However, you can learn effective coping mechanisms at any age.

This is article will overview how to address everyday stress, the best coping strategies for stressful situations, and how you can utilize these strategies.

What are Coping Skills?

The term “coping skill” is often used to describe a wide variety of characteristics, strategies, and skills that help an individual address their source of stress. Such qualities and skills help individuals overcome difficult situations, such as a breakup or the loss of a loved one.

Other times, coping skills help one address the situations indirectly. They may have the individual focus on their emotions and strengthen their ability to stay calm.

Coping strategies are the tasks an individual uses to overcome stressors. Skills and strengths play a key role in developing a coping strategy and taking action against the problem. Some of the most commonly used coping skills help individuals stay persistent and flexible while overcoming their problems.

How To Develop Coping Skills? List of 5 Activities

Coping skills combine numerous other skills and apply them to tackle real-world problems and your unique stressors. When developing coping skills, you will need to strengthen your stress management, time management, problem-solving, decision-making, and lifestyle management abilities. Having a positive attitude can also be beneficial to building coping methods.

 The specific activities that can help you develop these key skills include:

Keep things in perspective

Your values are what you stand for as a company and will be the foundation on which you build your brand. Such values can be fun, family, passion, growth, excitement, and humility.

The more important these values become to employees individually and collectively (trust), the more effective your team will be in responding to the challenges that arise.

These values are important because they help establish a standard for expected behavior.

People know how they’re supposed to behave, and decisions become easier because everyone is working toward the same goal.

Create a crisis plan

The effects of stress can at times be so severe, that you lose control of your emotions. It is good to have a plan for such events. Formulate the plan when you are calm and can think clearly. Ensure you include other individuals in this plan who can intervene when necessary. This could be a trusted friend, therapist, psychiatrist, or even a hotline.


Taking your mind off a problem or stress allows you to relax a bit before reproaching it. Try doing some different forms of exercise, like running or playing a sport. There are many physical and emotional benefits of exercise, and having an exercise buddy could also give you someone to talk to. Once you are more calm, you can deal with whatever is troubling you in a more rational manner.

Resist your impulses

Emotion-based coping can sometimes be ineffective. Your gut emotional instinct could lead you to feeling far worse and it could worsen your emotional pain long-term as well.

Try taking time to consider the best course of action, and acting in accordance to positive emotions. You could make some positive affirmations or read something inspiring to uplift you when you are struggling.

Self-soothing activities

Performing a few simple activities could be the key to your coping strategy. Use your five senses to comfort yourself, such as by finding a familiar comforting smell (a candle perhaps).

Alternatively, enjoy a home-cooked meal or watch your favorite film. The item or action should remind you of prior positive emotions but should not be directly related to the source of grief.

Mechanisms & Strategies for Coping Skills

Everyone has a unique approach to dealing with stressful life events. For instance, while some prefer to spend time with friends for support, others prefer to be isolated. There is no right or wrong way to cope, but there are general styles that a large chunk of the population uses.

The most common coping styles are:


The primary aim of task-oriented coping is to address and ultimately solve the problem causing the distress. Using this strategy involves taking direct action to alter the situation. This would ultimately reduce the individual’s stress and get rid of the stressor.

For instance, if the individual is receiving stress from a certain project, one may be encouraged to stay procrastinating and seek support from coworkers.


Effective emotion-focused coping focuses on reducing the negative emotions associated with grief and stress. This usually includes addressing feelings like embarrassment, fear, anxiety, or frustration.

This type of coping is used primarily when the source of the emotions is outside the individual’s control. Commonly utilized strategies for this coping method include distraction, meditation, starting an exercise routine, or journaling.


While the use of healthy coping skills is easily incorporated in the first two coping styles, avoidance is the least healthy approach. It involves giving no attempts to change the situation or ease your suffering. This may be an instinctual response to stress, but it does not have the same effectiveness as the prior two methods.

It has not been proven to decrease depression rates, while the prior have. This method is also the poorest in the context of life changes, adapting to new environments, and addressing problems.

Coping Skills for Depression

Depression is a serious psychological condition. Individuals with this condition should have a whole team supporting them, including a medical/mental health professional (a psychologist), a therapist, and family members. That said, you can still take steps to address your stressors as someone with depression.

Some particularly beneficial common coping mechanisms include:

List With 5 Examples of Dealing with Depression

  1. Expressing yourself in writing or journaling
  2. Using positive affirmations (such as “I am more than my emotions,” “I am in tune with my feelings,” or, “my stress is eliminated when I think of the big picture.”)
  3. Protecting your energy by avoiding toxicity/toxic people on social media or in real life
  4. Getting creative and embracing your inner quirks
  5. Talking to a therapist

Coping Skills for Anxiety

Anxiety can have an extremely negative impact on one’s quality of life. To overcome anxiety, healthy coping skills can be very beneficial. The worst thing you can do as someone suffering with an anxiety disorder is ignored your thoughts and feelings. Do not use the avoidance coping method, but rather, use a combination of more positive approaches.

This can include:

List With 5 Examples of Dealing with Anxiety

  1. Maintaining a positive attitude by addressing your negative thoughts and filling your mind with positivity.
  2. Realize that you cannot control everything. Consider what is worth stressing about and what may not be worth your time and energy.
  3. Learn about your triggers. In a journal, write down instances when your anxiety becomes overpowering. Try to notice a pattern of who, what, where, and how these triggers happen.
  4. Talk to someone when you feel overwhelmed. This can be a therapist, another mental health profession, or simply a friend.
  5. Distance yourself from stress. Consider listening to music, going to an exercise class, or reading a positive book.

Coping Skills for Stress

Everyone has some acute stressors from time to time. However, stress can be a serious problem when the stress lingers or interferes with your quality of life. You may be confused on the ways to address and overcome stress when many situations feel out of control.

However, you can experiment with using the following strategies to cope with stress:

List With 5 Examples of Dealing with Anxiety

  1. Talk to people you trust. This can be a family member, friend, or another community member who feel comfortable with talking.
  2. Schedule time to enjoy your favorite activities and unwind.
  3. Avoid reaching to drugs and alcohol for stress relief. They will usually only increase your stress long term.
  4. Take care of yourself (both body and mind). Try to eat healthfully, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest.
  5. Consider taking a break from social media and watching the news.

Coping Skills: Importance and List of 10 Benefits

Practicing the application of coping skills can ease any of the emotional distress you are experiencing. It helps individuals overcome problems, move on from past negative experiences, and become more positive. These benefits can be applied across all ages, careers, and relationships.

The benefits of using coping skills include:

List with 10 Benefits of Coping Skills

  1. Increases your ability to deal with stress and overcome adversity.
  2. Gives you the flexibility to try new things, gain new skills, and adapt to change.
  3. Boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem.
  4. Minimizes the negative health effects of stress and anxiety.
  5. Lowers your risk of depression.
  6. Helps you maintain a positive outlook on life.
  7. Increases your resilience and persistence.
  8. Helps you find ways to address panic attacks and negative emotions.
  9. Encourages you to find activities which make you happy (helps you find passions).
  10. Keeps you away from using unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, smoking, or overeating comfort food.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coping Skills

What are positive coping skills?

Positive coping skills are traits, qualities, or strategies that help you overcome your stressors and address your negative emotions/stress. They can be utilized in any stressful moment, such as during a breakup or after someone’s passing.

The key to such methods being effective and positive is that they do not encourage avoidance of your emotions. Rather, they help you handle your feelings and address the root of the problem.

What is considered a coping skill?

A coping skill is any strategy, quality, or skill that helps you overcome difficult situations and address the problems causing your negative emotions. Coping skills are different from coping strategies, as the skills are qualities which can be later applied in the strategies.

For instance, time management, resilience, positivity, and adaptability are both skills important to coping effectively. These skills can later be applied in a coping strategy, like by immersing yourself in positive situations.

How to improve coping skills?

You can improve your coping skills by experimenting with new positive coping strategies. This can help you get outside of your comfort zone and address your ability to overcome stress as well as negative feelings.

Popular coping strategies include: writing down your thoughts and emotions, speaking to a trusted friend, overcoming negative self-talk, focusing on the big picture, setting positive goals, practicing gratitude, setting aside time to enjoy your favorite activities, and speaking with a mental health professional.

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