Monthly Article Archives: June 1999

Stressed Out or Stress Hardy? – Part IIIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In my last two articles I discussed a particular attribute of individuals who are successful in their personal and professional lives, namely, their ability to be “stress hardy.” Stress hardiness is a concept proposed by Suzanne Kobasa in which she describes three characteristics of what she called the “hardy personality.” Individuals who possess these characteristics are less likely to experience stress and more likely to respond effectively to problematic situations than those who lack these traits. I referred to these characteristics as a mindset that determines the ways in which we perceive and approach life’s events; since the first letter of each of the components of the mindset begins with the letter C, I termed this mindset the “3 C’s.” I devoted my April and May columns to examining two of these “C’s.” The first focused on “commitment” or a feeling of purpose and meaning for one’s life rather than a sense of alienation. Individuals are less stressed when their actions are guided by and in concert with their values and they feel a passion for what they do. A sense of purpose is an antidote to feelings of anxiety and despair. In the second newsletter I reviewed “challenge.” Successful people

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