5 Emotion-Focused Coping Techniques And How They Matter

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Mental health | 0 comments

Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

When people are under so much stress, they either want to solve the problem or appease their emotional turmoil. For the latter, here are emotion-focused coping techniques they can practice.

Humans are naturally self-preserving.

This essence is deeply woven into human nature, inherently regulating their behavior and impulses to prioritize those that prevent danger. It’s evident in the subconscious rules they set – looking both ways before crossing, checking if the food had gone bad, or forming cliques that help ensure their survival. Humans prioritize survival, and nature has given them the capacity to do so through this characteristic.

This tendency also operates in the face of stress. Hence, the reason why the fight-or-flight response exists. When they’re faced with a risky affair, people either react to resolve the problem or avoid its escalation. On the contrary, the incorrect process ends up freezing before the situation gets resolved. This happens when they become so overwhelmed with their emotions that they cannot process and react accordingly.

To address this, medical and psychological professionals alike have come up with emotion-focused coping techniques for stress management.

Emotion-Focused Coping Techniques To Regulate Reactivity

Emotion-focused coping techniques focus on helping people regulate any adverse emotional reaction to stress. These processes help decrease anxiety, frustration, sadness, or anger so that they can behave better in these situations. Hence, their necessity is evident. Otherwise, people would react poorly to these situations, leading them to suffer more with the decline of their well-being.

Emotion-focused coping techniques help people regulate their emotions to develop appropriate solutions. Finding the proper technique is a vital tool for stress management.

Stress is healthy.

Even when it’s not, entirely cutting it off is impossible. Danger will always be present, and people will most likely be worried on certain days. It’s crucial that people learn how to manage during these instances, and a way to do so is by understanding coping mechanisms.


This process has existed since time immemorial. It involves focusing one’s attention, thus increasing awareness. In doing so, meditation also allows people to relax, reducing stress and increasing conflict resolution. While this may seem more of a cognitive practice, meditation is a worth-it emotion-focused coping technique, given it taps into one’s mindfulness.

It taps into people’s minds, releasing the thoughts, swarming and overwhelming them. Through this, stress is reduced, making meditation a practice worth anyone’s time.


Cognitive reframing is a coping mechanism that persuades people to shift their perspectives on their experiences. Hence, instead of associating something with stress, this process shifts their mind to seeing it differently. Again, while meditation and reframing are more mind-based, they still work as emotion-focused coping techniques with the benefit they provide.

People reduce stressful thinking by noticing one’s thoughts and challenging them toward a different route. This process reduces stress and allows people to reconsider whether situations are appropriate stressors.


In addition, humor is also considered a coping mechanism, given its nature and the relief it offers. Laughter is an upbeat and light sensation that’s useful in overcoming stress. In fact, there has been a rising interest in laughter therapy as one of the legitimate and effective emotion-focused coping techniques people can practice. This behavioral therapy can make physical and psychological improvements in practitioners’ relationships.

Author Renee Servello has written about humor as an aid with aging in her book “Humor All The Way.” This highlights the power of humor in alleviating emotional turmoil, acting to reverse the pessimism in the experience.


Although it’s technically more of a cognitive or behavioral coping mechanism, journaling allows people to regulate their emotions by expressing what they may suppress. Writing becomes an emotional outlet for individuals who find it troubling to be vulnerable with others. In writing what the mouth can vocalize, people still let steam out, allowing them to formulate solutions to problems.

When people let out these emotions, they also welcome space in their hearts for positive ones. Hence, journaling doesn’t only regulate stress. It also benefits people’s wellness, making it an excellent emotion-focused coping technique.

To better handle life’s challenges, people must learn to experiment with these emotion-focused coping techniques and find the best fit. Stress is ever-present, and nobody can always avoid it. Hence, people must veer towards learning to change their behaviors and perspectives about problems. This way, they live a more positive life.


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