Coping Skills Examples (7 Skills Everyone Should Know)

This blog will describe eight coping skills examples that everyone should know about so that they can identify which ones they need and work for them. Readers will first be introduced to how coping skills work. Then, we will explore each of the eight coping skills types and their specific examples.

What are some Examples of Coping Skills?

There are various kinds of coping skills that help one to deal with difficult times. A few kinds and their examples are as follows:

  • Social Coping – talking to loved ones
  • Using Diversions – going for a walk
  • Physical Coping – getting good sleep
  • Cognitive Coping – identifying irrational thoughts
  • Spiritual Coping – meditation
  • Behaviour Management – replacing habits
  • Unhealthy Coping – substance use

How do Coping Skills Work?

No matter who you are or what your circumstances, life can get pretty stressful for us all. A coping skill is a way to deal with this stress either by minimising its impact or increasing your tolerance. Coping skills can help with any kind of distress, whether it’s because of a relationship, conflict, emergency, illness, or change.

There are different types of coping skills and their examples vary based on the type. Each type focuses on a particular part or mechanism of the body to make it less challenging to deal with the stressor. In the next section, we’ll explore these further.

8 Coping Skills Examples

As mentioned before, there are many different kinds of coping skills. Let’s take a closer look at eight of these and their specific examples.

Social Coping

A lot of research supports the claim that social coping is one of the most important prerequisites for resilience, happiness, and living a long life. This is probably the most commonly known way of coping as well.

When you’re distressed, you tend to turn to your loved ones. Some find comfort in talking to family or friends. Others talk to random strangers, professionals, or go to support groups. We all feel a sense of relief and solidarity when we’re able to talk about our woes with other people.

This social connection need not be limited to interactions with human beings. Even talking to an emotional support animal or plants can be an effective coping skill.

Using Diversions

Another popular coping skill is to engage in activities that distract you from what’s bothering you. Sometimes you may escape the stressful situation by exiting the location, going for a walk, watching a movie or show, reading something, roaming around outside, shopping, eating comfort food, doing house chores, or focussing on work.

If you’ve had trauma in your past, you might even find yourself dissociating to exit the stress mentally if not physically. Diversions are temporary solutions and can be effective coping skills for certain situations.

However, it’s important to recognise when these skills stop serving you and only add to your problems through denial.

Physical Coping

As the name suggests, this type of coping skill is related to our physical needs. It includes anything that improves the body’s functioning, endurance, strength, and rest. So, when you hit the gym to clear your mind or go for a run to pump some endorphins, you’re using a physical coping skill.

A lot of times, it helps to get a nice massage, some aromatherapy, or a good night’s sleep to cope with tough situations. You might also cope by taking care of diet and nutrition. Paying attention to what your body needs lets you identify the most helpful way of physical coping.

Cognitive Coping

The word cognitive relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning. When we use such activities to help us handle a situation, we’re using cognitive coping skills.

For example, if you write down your thoughts, complete worksheets, replace unhelpful thoughts with helpful ones, or practice self-reflection, you’re engaging your cognitive side in dealing with the problem in front of you.

Spiritual Coping

Here is one more popular coping mechanism, which is widely used in all sections of society. Spiritual coping skills involve looking within for answers of meaning to the problems you’re facing. This can be through religion, philosophy, or cultural practices.

Common examples of spiritual coping skills are yoga, meditation, martial arts, prayer, community service, and cultural arts. Artists, poets, musicians, healers, and cults use their spiritual ideas to cope with their difficulties.

Behaviour Management

This is a more technical coping skill that requires consulting a professional due to lack of awareness. Nevertheless, many people do their own research to learn how to use behaviour management as a coping skill.

Basically, it is the process of changing, replacing, or tweaking a particular habit or behaviour in order to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. For example, you might stop drinking coffee because it makes you too anxious, start listening to music because it keeps you calm, replace smoking with green tea to reduce stress etc.

Unhealthy Coping

Now that we’ve discussed all these kinds of coping skills, it’s also crucial to identify unhealthy coping skills. That’s because, believe it or not, a lot of people knowingly or unknowingly engage in coping skills that do not serve them.

It’s possible that these worked at some point, which is why they were developed. But now, they cause more harm than good. A few examples of unhealthy coping skills are substance abuse, addictions, risky or impulsive decisions, pushing people away etc.


This blog described eight coping skills examples that everyone should know about so that they can identify which ones they need and work for them. Readers were first introduced to how coping skills work. Then, we explored each of the eight coping skills types and their specific examples.

The coping skills examples mentioned here included the following types: Social Coping, Using Diversions, Physical Coping, Cognitive Coping, Spiritual Coping, Behaviour Management, and Unhealthy Coping.

FAQs (Coping Skills Examples)

What are 4 examples of positive coping strategies?

Here are four examples of positive coping strategies:

  • Talking to loved ones about the issue
  • Engaging in physical activity
  • Journaling to reflect on your thoughts and feelings
  • Spending time doing a hobby you enjoy

What are 3 examples of coping skills you could use?

You could use these three examples of coping skills the next time you’re under duress:

  • Taking out time for self-care activities
  • Making sure you eat nutritious meals
  • Practicing grounding techniques to ease anxiety

What are poor coping skills?

Poor coping skills are those that either don’t help make the stressful situation easier or actually make the situation worse than it was. Most people using poor coping skills don’t know any better or don’t know how to break free from these habits. A few examples of poor coping skills are:

  • Substance abuse
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Skipping meals
  • Spending hours watching TV