Best Strategy to Manage Stress Depends on the Person

Posted on November 25, 2016

Photo: flickr

Stress is inevitably common in our lives and everyone equip a different coping strategy to deal with stressful events deemed fit for themselves. Some people may use coping strategies more than others. There are three techniques for keeping perspective through the ups and downs of life that have been studied are: Mindfulness, Reappraisal and Emotion Suppression.

Mindfulness – Staying aware in the present moment

Reappraisal – Finding ways of reinterpreting negative events to give them more positive meaning

Emotion Suppression – Putting negative emotions out of sight and out of mind

A team of researchers conducted a study of 187 participants looking at how the use of the mentioned strategies affected people’s moods. Overall, different strategies had different benefits for different people.
Mindfulness helped keep in balance for emotions by increasing the positive emotion and decreasing negative emotions.
On the other hand, emotion suppression seemed to have the exact opposite effect. An inclined of negative emotions and declined in positive emotions were reported for people who tried emotion suppression method to control their stress level.

As for reappraisal, the picture was a little more nuanced. Around 50% of the participants reported no use in reappraisal method to regulate their negative emotions. However, appraisal tended to be more helpful for people who were older. For older participants, using appraisal was associated with lower levels of negative emotions while fore adolescents, it was linked to higher levels of negative emotions.

When it comes to dealing with stress, there will not be a one-size-fits-all coping strategy as proven by the results of the study.

In summary, mindfulness is an especially promising candidate while for many others, emotion suppression seems to do more harm than good. Lastly, as for reappraisal, it is probably a fifty-fifty chance on that!

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Category(s):Stress Management

Source material from Brain Blogger


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