If you have ever looked a situation in a “more positive light”, you have practiced cognitive reappraisal. According to a study published in Psychological Science, cognitive reappraisal is beneficial in improving depression but only in situations that are uncontrollable. In the study, Allison Troy and colleagues recruited subjects who had a recent stressful life event. The subjects’ cognitive reappraisal ability (CRA) was measured by having them watch sad films and using cognitive reappraisal amongst other tests. Troy found that despite having high CRA, people in stressful situations that were controllable (i.e. poor performance at work) had higher level of depression compared to those who have uncontrollable situations. Troy also adds that cognitive reappraisal may negatively impact these situations because people would be “less inclined to attempt to change the situation.” What are some other methods/coping mechanisms to reduce depression from different life stressors?
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