Thriving Under Pressure.

How can two people experience the same stressful event and react in incredibly different ways?

Why do some individuals crumble under pressure while others flourish in reaction to stress? What explains the difference between these two groups of people?

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“Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress. They understand that setbacks happen and sometimes life is hard and painful. They still experience the emotional pain, grief, and sense of loss that comes after a tragedy, but their mental outlook allows them to work through such feelings and recover.” Source: About Psychology

Building Stress Resilience

Stress hardiness is a pathway to resilience – the ability to remain healthy and strong during stressful and challenging times. Hardy individuals transform stressful circumstances into growth opportunities by reframing adversity and taking direct action in response to stress.

Bouncing Back from Adversity

This video of one of my positive psychology talks outlines the 3 components of stress hardiness: 1) Challenge, 2) Control, and 3) Commitment. Each a critical factor in cultivating the ability to bounce back and thrive under pressure.

Can Stress Hardiness be Learned?

Yes! Research demonstrates that not only can stress hardiness be learned, it has wide-ranging applications, including: 1) lowering test anxiety in high school students, 2) reducing perceived stress in college students, 3) protecting against war-related stress in Army Reserve forces, and 4) improving resilience and coping skills in stressed out professionals.

Self Developement Concept

How do you shift from a negative -> positive mindset?

20 thoughts on “Thriving Under Pressure.

  1. Pingback: What’s your stress threshold? – Thriving Under Pressure

  2. At 55 having spent years working on ‘positive mindset’, studied NLP, qualified as a hypnotherapist, I thought I’d learned the art of ‘bouncing back’ and then I was ‘pushed’ over and found my tipping point – my body decided to tell me ‘enough is enough’ … Do you think we all have a ‘tipping point’ in the end?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent question re. tipping point. Thanks for asking!

      I would call it more of a “set point” (threshold) than a tipping point. (But we may be talking about 2 distinct concepts here.)

      Based on personal experience, I believe that our ability to cope & thrive under pressure is a lifelong practice. Something that is never mastered – only strengthened.

      Additionally, I think that our thriving threshold is different for every area of our lives. And differs from person-to-person based on strengths, weaknesses, and personal history.

      For example, the more challenging work is for me (high stress threshold) the more I flourish. ❤️📚

      While this is not the case with other areas of my life (low threshold) and thus tend to react (too quickly) when under pressure. 😂😩

      What do you think?


      1. Actually that makes perfect sense to me. For many years, I’ve thrived at work – worked excessively long hours and flourishing under pressure to achieve tight deadlines etc. However, something relatively small challenged my threshold – a bit like the straw that broke the camels back – it came as a bit of a shock as I think I thought I was superwoman.. Now I’m having to dig deep to put the lessons learned over a lifetime and used many times to help others to use for myself… The blog is proving cathartic.. Thanks for your reply!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Wendy! So wonderful to hear! That was my high hope for this blog.

          Our discussion on this post has stimulated a new idea for a posted called “What’s your stress threshold?”.

          If ok with you, I will include a link to your blog and the general idea of our discussion (not the specifics) in my post.

          Let me know.

          All good – either way!

          Andrea 📝💫😊

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Sounds like a brilliant idea Andrea and I’m really pleased to have inspired another brilliant post from you! Link to my blog with pleasure.. Much appreciated! I look forward to reading it in due course.. xx

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic post.

    Human nature is so complex and I often wonder how a certain episode may have completely different reactions from individuals. Interesting to explore more into this to probably gain better understanding of how people think/feel. My daughter underwent leukemia treatment twice in ten years, first as a five year old and then again as a fifteen year old.

    By the grace of God and medical science she is fine and in college now but our experience during her treatment was varied. Some people would cry hysterically with us comforting them while others would find ways to support us. It is indeed very complex because most couldn’t understand how we could lead normal lives with the life threatening illness in our child while we always believed that she would be fine and ensured as normal a life for her as possible during her chemotherapy sessions.

    I am glad she could go for prom in the evening after chemo in the morning. It made her so determined to live and do well and us to encourage and support her all the way.

    Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What an incredible role model your daughter is to us all. If anyone knows about thriving under pressure – it’s both of you. Thank you for sharing. Wishing your daughter a lifetime of health & happiness.


  4. E. H. Freman

    Dr, I just wanted to thank you for posting this video and for the information on your blog. I have been overwhelmed (and very much struggling) with a very seriously bad hostile work environment and I honestly have not handled it well. It has put me in a dark place and I have been doing so much research to learn how to get myself back to how I was mentally 7 years ago, when I was able to rebound and think of failures as temporary set backs. This video was a big help, as has been your page. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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