Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Coping and The importance of Social Support

When life becomes complicated and hectic what are the most efficient ways of adjusting? According to the text there are two main ways people cope with situations. One way is very healthy, but the other way some times is not. The two different ways of coping are Problem-Focused and Emotion-Focused. Problem-Focused is when one concentrates more on the issue to come up with a solution. Emotion-Focused may involve wishing the problem away, isolating oneself, blaming one self, or using optimism. Emotion-Focused can be a debilitating form of coping because it can often lead to substance abuse, or a tendency to over eat.

Social support can also be used as a coping mechanism. Personally, when I become overwhelmed, or upset I will always turn to my parents or my boyfriend. Even if no advice is given, I still feel better after explaining my feelings to someone close who I know will not be judgmental. The book also explains a study done by Cohen and Hoberman explains that students who had more social support were less stressed at college. Also, the book discusses a link of social support to the immune system. When I become anxious and stressed, I get the feeling of having a pit in my stomach and cannot relax. After talking to someone, my anxiety eases and I feel better.


  1. I feel the same way about talking to someone close to me. I may talk to my parents, significant other, or friends about anything. After I do this I definatly feel better. Social support really helps to deal with stress and keep me focused on my end goal.

  2. I agree to a certain extent about social support. Without a doubt, I will always talk to my mom, sister, or best friends about certain things, but sometimes there are issues that I don't want to mention. Sometimes I don't want to bring my problems onto someone else. In this case I'll just resort to writing how I feel down somewhere. It is a way of venting and than also good to look back on and see if you have progressed from your stressed state.

  3. I agree with you too, venting always seems to be a healthy way to relieve stress and get problems out into the open. Social support is essential for well-being and coping methods. There was a post by Alexa titled "Venting = Bad?" that was very interesting though, it was about the correlation between venting and PTSD following September 11th, and the research done indicated that those who vented about the stress were more likely to develop PTSD compared to those who did not. It was very interesting, I encourage you to read it.