Coping with Stress

Lesson 1 - Stress vs Distress

Stress vs distress

The key to development of these stimuli lies in how the
individual perceives and reacts to the stressors. If the
perception of the stressor is distorted, for whatever
reason, then the reaction is not likely to be appropriate.

Most people are able to cope reasonably well with
whatever comes along, but from time to time we
encounter stressors for which we are not adequately
prepared. At such times we go beyond the normal
levels of coping with stress and move into the area
of distress.

However, while no one can live totally without stress, we
can learn to survive its destructive effects. Learning how
to cope is important, but formal opportunities for
developing such skills are rare. As we grow up, we see
how our parents, teachers, peers and neighbours deal
with the problems of life. We ‘file away’ the information
in our minds, and then when difficulties arise we reach
into this ‘ragbag’ of coping strategies, hoping that they
will work for us.