Positive Coping Skills

Coping Skills are methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations. Learning and maintaining good coping skills takes practice, but it gets easier over time.

  • Upside: Gives your heart & mind a break, great for short-term relief and for getting through a crisis.
  • Downside: Can’t do it for too long, doesn’t resolve underlying issues.
  • Examples include: Cleaning, reading, watching TV, arts & crafts, playing games.



  • Upside: Helps to slow breathing or stop “dissociation” (feeling numb, floaty)
  • Downside: Sometimes it’s okay to dissociate (that’s how your mind protects you)
  • Examples include: Doing yoga, meditating, walking on grass barefoot, playing with kinetic sand.



  • Upside: Great for anger and fear, releases the pressure of overwhelming emotion.
  • Downside: Hard to do in every situation, must be selective with how and where you do this.
  • Examples include: Letting yourself cry or laugh, boxing, dancing, exercise, popping bubble wrap.



  • Upside: Reminds us that everyone has value and that purpose can be found in small and large things.
  • Downside: Don’t get stuck trying to help everyone else and forget about yourself!
  • Examples include: Smiling at strangers, praying, volunteering, joining a cause.


  • Upside: Become your own best friend and your own supporter, great for guilt or shame, you deserve it!
  • Downside: Sometimes it can feel really hard to do or feel superficial.
  • Examples include: Massaging your hands, cooking a special meal, napping, treating yourself.

  • Upside: Can help to shift long-term negative thinking habits.
  • Downside: This is harder to do when you feel more emotional, feelings of shame can make this very difficult.
  • Examples include: Writing negative thoughts & listing reasons they may not be true.