Positive psychology improves people’s lives by encouraging positive behaviors and thoughts (Donaldson, 2011). It is a branch of psychology that focuses on improving the lives of individuals. Positive Coping is one of the aspects emphasized in the study and practice of positive psychology. Positive coping includes such aspects as positive thinking and optimism. Methods of positive coping include proactive coping, social coping and meaning-focused coping (Donaldson, 2011). Each of these methods improves the social, physical and psychological well-being of individuals in different ways.
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Research studies have revealed that positive thinking has several benefits that enable individuals to cope with their problems during tough times. Positive thinkers are healthier, more energetic and happier compared to negative thinkers. In addition, the wellbeing of positive thinkers is greater compared to that of negative thinkers. Despite challenges and obstacles encountered in the coping process, individuals achieve positive results that improve their psychological and physiological well-being (Snyder, 2009). Building the most appropriate coping strategies in life is important for healthy living. However, it requires great efforts and struggle.
Coping refers to the ability of a person to deal with problems, challenges and tough situations without succumbing to their negative effects (Snyder, 2009). It eases stress and improves emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing (Donaldson, 2011). It is necessary for individuals to learn and practice effective coping skills in order for them to fully understand and deal with life challenges. Without these coping mechanisms, people succumb to stress, which influences all spheres of life.
Three main techniques enhance positive coping. They include proactive coping, social coping and meaning-focused coping. Proactive coping involves dealing with a certain situation by anticipating its outcome and preparing in advance (Donaldson, 2011). This reduces worry, which intensifies stress among people. Social coping involves interacting and seeking for social support from other people who have dealt with similar challenges or problems before (Snyder, 2009).
Social help is highly valuable because it is based on personal experience. The meaning-focused coping technique involves understanding a stressful event or situation in a way that creates meaning, hence making it a constructive aspect of life (Snyder, 2009). Many people cope positively by managing their thoughts. This is achieved by avoiding negative thoughts and encouraging positive thoughts. Even though managing one’s thoughts is a difficult task, it is a very effective technique for positive coping.
Other coping methods used include engaging in physical activity and embracing humor. Physical activity is an effective stress-reduction method that relaxes the body and improves blood transport (Snyder, 2009). In addition, it improves sleeping patterns that are important for full recuperation of bodies. On the other hand, individuals take tough and stressful situations lightly due to the calming effect of humor. Moreover, it releases muscle tension, which aggravates stress. These techniques are highly efficacious because they deal with mental, physical, and social wellbeing of people. Thinking positively is one of the best techniques of positive coping for mental wellbeing. Proper communication is efficient for social wellbeing while relaxation and physical activity are effective for physical wellbeing (Snyder, 2009).
The main purpose of positive psychology is to improve lives of individuals. Positive coping is an aspect of positive psychology that mainly involves positive thinking. Individuals use several methods to cope with difficulties positively. These include positive thinking, optimism, physical activity, and relaxation techniques such as meditation. Positive coping improves the social, psychological, and physical wellbeing of individuals.
Donaldson, S. (2011). Applied positive Psychology: Improving Everyday Life, Health, Schools, Work, and Society. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Snyder, R. (2009). Handbook of Positive Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.