What’s your preference?

3D Word Stress on white background

Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Small amounts of stress can be beneficial in motivating you to get the job done or boost your defences. However, once stress reaches a certain threshold, it can lead to health problems including heart disease, strokes, cancer and type 2 diabetes.  More often, stress can also cause psychological issues such as anxiety, anger, depression and fear which in turn can have adverse effects at home or work.

The key is to be aware of the sources of personal stress and to pay attention to your own stress thermometer.  The challenge is that, stress is invisible usually until it is way past the threshold. Also, generally people have different ways of dealing with stress that can come into conflict and fuel stress levels.

Stress coping bases can provide a reference or frame to monitor and reduce the sources of personal stress.  Stress coping bases are the different strategies people use when dealing with stress. Three main coping bases exist, each with a different focus:  Problem Solving (driven by a solution), Self Expression (driven by connections) and Avoidance (driven by harmony). Each coping base equivalent; having its own set of strengths and weaknesses. When you understand your preferences, you can understand your reactions and create alternative possibilities for eliminating stress from your life. Also, you can appreciate the differences between you and the people who are closest to you; thereby understanding the sources of conflicts and stress.  It can be used to resolve potential conflicts, communicate without stress during times of change or crisis and manage intercultural misunderstandings.

People with preference for different coping bases may as well be from different cultures or speaking different languages. Failure to understand how the other person copes with stress and expects to be interacted with is a key reason for the difficulties in relationships and amplified emotional stress. When people with different coping base preferences interact with each other they can easily get agitated by the misunderstandings. For instance, if you prefer self expression you will want to connect with your partner by talking about your emotions and frustrations. If they prefer problem solving, they will instead focus on the facts and figures in order to find a solution. As a result, you will get angry at them for not connecting with your feelings and they will get angry at you for wasting time talking instead of focusing on a solution.

Stress can take a long term toll on our body and mind. Stress coping base model can help find implementable alternatives and possibilities that can assist you in reducing sources of stress in many areas of your life; from your family relationships to career interactions.

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