Positive and Negative Coping Skills

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Here's a list of positive and negative coping skills. As an exercise identify those negative coping skills you use or have used, write them down on paper and with a brief description or example of each. Under each negative coping skill, identify a positive coping skill that you're willing to try using instead. Practice the skills daily. Make a commitment to do this exercise daily for 6-months. Soon you'll be well on your way.

Positive Coping Skills:

  • Call sponsor or counselor
  • Attend 12-step/support meeting
  • Meditate, pray, or get "in touch" with Higher Power
  • Staying in the here-and-now (staying in the present)
  • Stay organized; make a to-do list
  • Work on your 4th Step, in writing
  • Stretching or exercising
  • Listening to "positive" or relaxing music
  • Reading
  • Participate in some form of recreational activity
  • Engage in a positive and/or healthy hobby
  • Socialize with sober and/or positive friends

Negative Coping Skills:

  • Act violently, lash out; or angry outburst
  • Use - relapse (drink alcohol, drug use, smoke, etc.)
  • Pace up and down
  • Fill mind with negative thoughts, revenge, or trash
  • Lack of journaling issues or situations
  • Over-eating or under-eating
  • Excessive sleep
  • Engage in negative self-talk or pity
  • Socialize with non-sober and/or negative friends
  • Dwell on the past (regrets, failures, could-haves, should-haves)
  • Withdraw from support and/or isolate self

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