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Exercise – Problem Solving and Coping with Stress

Grab a pen and paper or if you have a PC, click on the link below to print or download the exercise document:


With every stressful part of our lives comes the opportunity for us to cope with the situation, problem-solve our way through it, or a combination of the two.


Problem solving the situation involves us directly addressing the issues at hand and trying to eliminate whatever is causing us stress. However, there are times when the source of our stress is out of our control and can’t be eliminated right now or at all.


When we don’t have much control over our stressors, we can focus on coping rather than problem solving. Coping with stressors involves us finding activities that help us feel better while dealing with stress, rather than dealing with the stress directly.


We may not always be able to problem solve our way out of stress, but there are always things we can use to cope, however difficult that may be.


This exercise is designed to help you decide if you want to focus on coping or problem solving through each of your top 3 stressors.


Start by listing your top 3 stressors below. 


My Top 3 Stressors:











For each one, reflect on how you’re currently dealing with the stressor and whether you need to focus on problem solving to eliminate it, coping with it, or a little of both.

Finally, brainstorm a list of things you want to try which can help you to cope with each of the 3 sources of stress.

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