What are positive coping mechanisms?

Stress is a part of life that we can’t avoid. School, work, business and family all cause us stress at some point. This means that we need to find ways to cope with our everyday stressors. Coping with stress by drinking, smoking or engaging in any other negative behaviour can have dangerous long-term effects, which is why it’s important to develop positive coping mechanisms.

Positive coping mechanisms are healthy ways of dealing with stress and stress triggers. They help you get rid of the anxiety and tension linked to stress, without putting your mental, physical and emotional health in danger. Here are a few positive coping mechanisms you can try out.


Exercising can be a good way to release stress from your body. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins (happy hormones), which can improve your mood and leave you feeling relaxed and calm. So, try jogging, aerobics or take up sports at school. It might not be easy to start but it will be worth it in the long run.

Keep a journal

Writing down your feelings when you are stressed will help you get things off your chest and help you understand your emotions. Although drinking and going out to parties can make you feel better for a bit, it doesn’t help you deal with your emotions. Keeping a journal will help you acknowledge and work through different emotions, instead of just numbing or avoiding them. 

Listen to music

Listening to your favourite music whenever you are stressed can be soothing and relaxing. This will help you shift your focus from your problem to what you are listening to and instantly ease your stress. You’ll also find that putting a healthy distance between you and your problems can actually help you come up with creative solutions to solve them.


Meditation is all about focusing and being in the moment. To meditate, you would need to sit or lie in a relaxed position, ideally in a quiet place. You will then need to be still and focus on your breathing, which will help you acknowledge your thoughts, allowing you to confront your feelings and clear your mind. You can learn more about meditation here.

Learning positive coping mechanisms can help you deal with your stressors in a way that’s healthy. You’ll be more in touch with yourself, better able to solve problems and less likely to do things only to regret them later. Remember, stress is a normal part of life, but if you find that you can longer cope with it, you can always contact SADAG for help.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).