The dynamics of 21st century life have created a social environment full of stressful situations. A Journal of The American Psychological Association noted that stress in the workplace has reached a critical point, and studies suggest that the most common aspects of our lives, such as relationships and daily activities, often cause the greatest degrees of stress. This book provides a comprehensive look at what professionals know about coping with stress, drawing upon research to assert which methods of coping seem to be effective and which do not. The book begins with a discussion of the nature of stress, looking at the effects of stress in daily life, considering some of the ways researchers study stress, and examining how the human body reacts to stressful events. The book then turns to the ways psychologists conceptualize, measure and study coping mechanisms, and to specific techniques, beginning with those that appear to be ineffective in reducing stress such as obsessing and ruminating about the problem and proceeding to those that appear effective such as seeking social support, exercise and improving interpersonal skills. For individuals considering professional help, the final chapters present some basic information about medications, psychotherapy and alternative medicine approaches.