People cope with stress in different ways.
These coping mechanisms can be labeled four different ways. The first one is problem analysis. With this type of coping mechanism, people think about the problem.
“This way of thinking usually means the person is using “what if” in a positive way.
They’re not simply turning the problem or situation over and over in their minds. They’re looking for how they can define exactly what the problem is.
This is the first step that often motivates people to reaching for a solution to the problem. When someone engages in problem analysis, they can see the problem objectively without internalizing it to the point that they dwell on it long term.
This kind of coping mechanism is highly effective and doesn’t lead to emotional or physical problems that can happen with dwelling on a stressful situation. The type of people who use this method are the type that are able to separate their lives and self-worth from the problem.
They can look at something that needs to be solved and then lay it down without it causing them to lose sleep.
The second type of coping mechanism is plan rehearsal. Someone who copes this way is usually an analytical thinker.
He or she won’t dwell on negative “what ifs.” Instead, this person will think about what he can do to bring the situation to a resolution. Someone using this coping mechanism rarely thinks that there isn’t a solution to a situation regardless of what the situation is.
The person who deals with stressful situations this way usually comes up with several solutions and analyzes each one for the best outcome. People who use plan rehearsal don’t usually carry a stressful situation over into the next day emotionally.
Stagnant deliberation is one of the poorer methods that people use when dealing with stress. This is the type of person who will “what if” and think about the problem, but won’t get anywhere.
They don’t come up with a solution and so they don’t move forward. With stagnant deliberation your emotional and physical health can be affected to the point that it can make you ill.
The fourth coping mechanism is outcome fantasy. With this way of dealing with stress, people fantasize or daydream that they won’t have to deal with the problem because it will be somehow magically solved.
This coping mechanism can affect emotional and physical health as well. It’s rare that a person always uses just one type of coping mechanism.
You can use a mixture of all of them but the type of people who use problem analysis and plan rehearsal don’t get stuck in the “what if” or the negative thinking about stressful situations.
They might pause there, but they don’t get stuck.