Coping means to invest one's own conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict. The psychological coping mechanisms are commonly termed coping strategies or coping skills. The term coping generally refers to adaptive constructive coping strategies, that is, strategies which reduce stress. In contrast, other coping strategies may be coined as maladaptive, if they increase stress. Maladaptive coping is therefore also described, based on its outcome, as non-coping.
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To deal with everyday problems — and those less common — we all put into practice different coping strategies. You may not be fully aware of your coping strategies, but that does not mean that you do not use them to deal with stressful and conflicting situations in life. These coping strategies have two essential objectives: keep you afloat in the toughest moments and solve the problem. However, not all coping strategies are effective, mature and psychologically healthy. Some may even create more problems than they solve by making you hit bottom emotionally. Escapism is one of them. And all, to a greater or lesser extent, we are escapists.
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