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emotion-focused coping

a stress-management strategy in which a person focuses on regulating his or her negative emotional reactions to a stressor. Rather than taking actions to change the stressor itself, the individual tries to control feelings using a variety of cognitive and behavioral tools, including meditation and other relaxation techniques, prayer, positive reframing, wishful thinking and other avoidance techniques, self-blame, seeking social support (or conversely engaging in social withdrawal), and talking with others (including mental health care professionals). It has been proposed that emotion-focused coping is used primarily when a person appraises a stressor as beyond his or her capacity to change. Compare problem-focused coping. [identified in 1984 by Richard S. Lazarus and Susan Folkman (1938–  ), U.S. psychologists]

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Psychology term of the day

March 3rd 2024

nervous breakdown

nervous breakdown

a lay term for an emotional illness or other mental disorder that has a sudden onset, produces acute distress, and significantly interferes with one’s functioning. Also called nervous prostration.