Chapter 16

Stress Tolerance

“It is not stress that kills us. It is effective adaptation to stress that allows us to live.”

—GEORGE VAILLANT

DEFINITION:

Stress tolerance is the ability to withstand adverse events and stressful situations without developing physical or emotional symptoms, by actively and positively coping with stress. This ability is based on (1) a capacity to choose courses of action for dealing with stress (being resourceful and effective, being able to come up with suitable methods, knowing what to do and how to do it); (2) an optimistic disposition toward new experiences and change in general, and toward your own ability to successfully overcome the specific problem at hand; and (3) a feeling that you can control or influence ...

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