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What are some of the ways to manage long term, chronic stress?
  • A
    Fitness programmes, relaxation techniques, counselling, religious practices.
  • B
    Remove the stressor, drink alcohol, ignore the stressor.
  • C
    Take unauthorised absences from work, go on holiday, refuse to admit you are suffering from stress.
  • D
    Take drugs, drink tea or coffee, keep the problems bottled up.

Learning Objective Give examples of long-term methods of coping with stress.

Given the available options, this question is quite straightforward. The other options contain obviously terrible ways of dealing with stress, like alcohol, drugs and denial.

Chronic Stress is a long term stressor such as family or health problems, and can last indefinitely in some cases. It can affect every aspect of a persons life, behaviourally, cognitively, physiologically, and in their personality. There are three main ways of coping with stress; action coping (removing or reducing the stressor), cognitive coping (reducing how badly we perceive the stressor) and symptom-directed coping (addressing the symptoms of stress only, not the stressor itself).

Managing long term stress where the stressor cannot be removed requires a mix of these, including symptom directed coping strategies like fitness and relaxation (meditation, etc.) and also cognitive coping such as having a good mindset and attending counselling to reduce the mental effects of the stressor.

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