How we adjust to handling a stressful event or situation is referred to as coping.

Stress is created within our body when a change of some kind requires an adjustment or response. Stress can be physical such as having aching legs from walking all day or mental such as when we are angry because we reprimanded earlier in the day. Stress is often overlooked and almost disregarded by most people. Being proactive and recognizing stressors can help us make our lives much more manageable. There are times in our lives that we will come across situations that threaten our very fabric of being. The stress in that situation hits an almost maximum. The actions and thoughts we take to manage these situations is referred to as coping.

Being able to cope with situations is an innate skill, but we can increase our chances of being successful by recognizing and planning how to cope. If you have a physical stressor in your way start by analyzing the full situation. What are your options? Take your time and evaluate which decision is best for you. Seek the advice of others that you trust. See what they think. The worst thing you can do when trying to cope is to ignore or deny the issue at hand. The best way to deal with it is to make a carefully thought out decision.

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Printable Coping Skills Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

All the Categories

For each category, write down your own personal coping skills.

A to Z of Coping Skills

For each letter of the alphabet, write some action that you can take to manage stress.

Coping Skills Assessment

The way that we respond to difficulties in life are called coping skills. Positive coping skills are healthy ways to stay calm and solve or deal with problems.

Call on Your Coping Skills

Think of several ways that you can cope with each of the feelings below. Write your coping skills in the box.

Analyzing the Problem

Describe how the problem affects your life. Does it stop you from doing or being things you want to do or be?

Coping Skills Assessment

Use the table below to assess the effects of the ways you have tried to solve your problem.

Practicing Expansion

Expansion is the opposite of struggling with or trying to avoid unpleasant feelings and sensations. It means making room for them and allowing them to stay with you until they leave of their own accord.

Get Present

Use these easy exercises to get centered and connected with what is around you. Practice any time you feel your thoughts and feelings overwhelming you.

Coping Strategies

Different coping strategies will be appropriate for different situations. Remember, coping strategies will only help you to deal with and get through periods of unpleasant thoughts and feelings-they cannot actually solve your problems.

How Will I Relax?

Make a list of the things that you do now to relax. Then make a list of other things that you think would be relaxing, things you don’t do now but would like to try.

Slow, Deep Breathing

Slowing down the speed of your breathing can alter your body's anxiety response. Taking long, slow breaths from your diaphragm communicates to your brain that you are safe.

Mindfulness

Study the picture above. Then, on the lines below, write an objective description of what you see.

Relaxation

Anxiety can rob us of our sense of well being. The things we do to relax, on the other hand, can both give us pleasure and make us feel good about ourselves. Some things we do simply because we enjoy them, without regard to whether or not we are good at them.

Identifying Triggers

A trigger is something (a person, place, situation, etc.) that provokes an unwanted emotional or behavioral state, like anxiety or anger.

Coping With Anger

Make a list of your triggers and look at them every day. Keeping your triggers in the front of your mind will make it more likely that you will notice them before they have a chance to trigger your anger.