Solution-Focused Coping: Benefits and Strategies

Specific Benefits of Solution-Focused Coping

Confidence and solution-focused coping can relieve stress.
Using solution-focused coping with confidence can eliminate stress in your life. Sam Edwards/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Solution-focused coping strategies can be quite effective for stress management. Whereas emotion-focused coping strategies zero in on ways to minimize the emotional distress that comes from facing different stressors in one's life, solution-focused coping strategies, as their name suggests, center on changing the stressors that are causing the distress--they focus on finding a solution. In this way, eliminating the stressors eliminates the stress they bring as well.

Solution-focused coping can't be used in every situation--it isn't always possible to eliminate all sources of stress. For example, some on-the-job stressors like difficult co-workers, a long commute, or a heavy workload, are simply part of the job; quitting the job may bring more stress than these issues bring. Other stressors, like challenging projects, or even reasonable deadlines, keep things challenging enough to be interesting; if you eliminated all stressors, you would miss what it is that keeps life interesting. (Read about eustress to learn more about this.)  However, cutting out the stressors that bring the greatest wear and tear on your mind and body due to the stress they bring, the stressors that keep your stress response triggered and contribute to chronic stress, can be a valuable way to keep life enjoyable rather than overwhelming. For example, by learning strategies to deal with the difficult co-workers, make the commute more enjoyable or make the workload manageable, you can cut down on the stress of the job.

Solution-focused coping can also encompass activities like taking action versus simply ruminating over problems. It can include looking over the list of stressors in your life that are creating the greatest drains on your time and energy, and either eliminating them or changing how you address them.

Solution-focused coping can include actions like learning communication skills in order to minimize conflict in your life or learning money-management techniques in order to live with less debt and more resources. There are many different ways to create solutions in life.

The following resources can provide solution-focused coping strategies for various situations:

Job Stress Relief

Job stress can affect you in many ways. Find out how, and discover strategies for increasing job satisfaction and staving off burnout.

College Stress Relief

College life presents challenges that are unique. Learn how to cope with the demands of tests, social pressures, and the demands that come with college life.

Money Stress Relief

Most people are feeling financial pressure these days. Learn strategies for managing the money you have, and dealing with the stress of getting by on less.

Dealing With Difficult People

Some people cause stress in our lives, and cannot be avoided. Learn strategies for dealing with the people who push your buttons the most.

Shorten Your List of Stressors

Most of us have several things in our lives that bring small amounts of stress, but can be easily eliminated. Because all this stress adds up, cutting down on these minor stressors can bring major stress relief.

Here's how to cut out extra stress.

Also Known As: Solution-Based Coping