ABSTRACT

Stress is the scourge of modern life, costing millions of days of workdays and the loss of billions economically. Work-life stress is also a major cause of depression and anxiety. This chapter looks at definitions of normality, adjustment, and positive mental health. It explores the tension between survival and safety and personal growth (from Maslow). How we define stress determines how we cope with and considers stressors from three angles: stimulus, response, and interaction. The chapter considers the difference between emotion-focused coping and control-coping strategies. It also considers the role of cognitive appraisal and presents theories from psychology and coaching with practical tips and advice. These include the hassles and uplifts theory, psychological hardiness, and learning skills as life skills. The chapter also presents the idea of eustress and its positive impact on peak performance. The chapter concludes with a review of the research on mindfulness and outcomes in psychotherapy and counselling. It offers advice on getting support and invites the reader to reflect on the ‘new normal’.