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Coping styles and mechanisms

Many people have different ways of coping with the numerous problems life throws. Due to the reason every person goes through different issues in life the result is that every person has their own unique coping mechanism. This essay will give people the knowledge of how everyone has different coping mechanisms. A person may have a different mechanism for coping with various situations or they may use the same mechanism for every situation that may arise.

According to Sarah Mae Sincero (2012), she describes coping mechanisms as, “…ways to which external or internal stress is managed, adapted to or acted upon”. There are two types of coping mechanisms; they are adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanism. Adaptive coping mechanisms are the ones that do not harm a person’s body when they try to deal with stress. On the contrary, maladaptive coping mechanisms are coping mechanisms that do harm the body when a person tries to escape an unfortunate event/feeling. There are many coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, and almost all of them may be used to deal with long term and short-term problems. The type of coping mechanism a person chooses to deal with his or her problems can, very easily make someone worry their wellbeing depending how the person chooses to solve their problem. An example is, if a person is stressed and goes down to the local bar to drink their worries away this will most definitely make someone worry. Of course, if the preferred coping mechanism of someone is humor, cracking jokes at a funeral can easily offend someone. According to Courtney Ackerman (2017), the body reacts to every coping strategy a person chooses. For instance, if an unhealthy coping strategy is chosen, the body will go deeper into depression, stress, or addiction. Vice versa, if a healthy coping strategy is used the person can expect improvement in their body’s management of their emotions, overall happiness, and they will have a different perspective on their situation.

Humor is a big part of everyday life. Humans go through many emotions throughout their lives and, sometimes they even feel multiple emotions at once. It is in our natural instinct to want to feel one emotion more than another. Happiness is an emotion everyone would want to feel over any emotion. One question that should be addressed is, is humor a good coping mechanism? In an article written by Diana Raab, Ph.D. (2014), she explains, how Ph.D. Mikhail Lyubansky, proves that while teens are hurting inside the very act of making someone smile and laugh made them feel less pain than what they were feeling. In this study, he proves that humor is a good coping mechanism for not only the person feeling depressed, but for also the people around them. Based on a study from the University of Kentucky, conducted by Carol Whipple (2018), they researched humor and laughter can heal many emotional and internal wounds, they also help build relationships. For example, humor makes a person look at the situation at hand in a different perspective. Humor also helps people avoid loneliness. Humans are attracted to genuine cheerfulness, this helps people stay connected and avoid loneliness.

People are all different and so are the coping strategies they use to deal with their misfortunes. One method of coping can be playing video games. However, in the moment it seems like a great answer to many life problems this style is a double-edged sword. In an experiment by Dr. Bean, he proclaimed in a radio interview with Sputnik (2017), Dr. Bean mentioned over-preoccupation with video games increased irritability, changing moods, and difficulty in adapting to other areas of life. For the people who use this as a coping mechanism, instead of their original intention of trying to relieve stress they actually get more irritated, bipolar, and it is difficult for them to adapt to many areas of life. In an article by Anastasia Valens (2015), she says, “self-medicating with videogames can increase a player’s risk for developing an addiction”. A person can easily develop an addiction towards video games to where their whole day revolves around the activity. He claims that when he would have a bad day he would play video games but as his anger, stress, and depression progressed, so has his playing time. He mentioned that video games are all he wants to do and all he has time for now. Video games can be a good coping mechanism if it is not constantly used as an escape, and if it is under reasonable hours of playtime.

According to ChangingMinds.org there are 38 different types of coping mechanisms. To know how many of these are good coping mechanisms is easy to tell, it is all on how a person chooses to use them and in what situation. Going behind to some more research in a paper by, Megan M. Kelly, Audrey R. Tyrka, Lawrence H. Price, and Linda L. Carpenter, (2008) they researched that, women tend to use coping strategies that changed their emotional response to a stressful situation. On the other hand, men tend to focus more on problem-focused methods of handling stress. This is due because have a more straightforward approach to many things they come across. As for women, they have more of an emotional approach to many things in life. A coping mechanism that works for all genders and for every type of person is, exercise. In a research done by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, when stress affects the brain it sends signals to the rest of the body. So it stands that when the body feels better so does the mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce Endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Endorphins also improve the ability to sleep in turn reduces stress.

In conclusion, a person can use many different coping mechanisms to the different situations life has to offer. There are two factors that go into a healthy and good coping mechanism; the first thing is the coping strategy the person chooses, and the setting the person is in. A good note to remember is that all coping mechanisms can be good and bad. The mental and physical health of a person are key factors in choosing an effective and healthy coping mechanism. It is not a bad thing to experiment with different coping mechanisms. A person should experiment to find the correct strategy that meets their needs and does not affect their body in a negative way.

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