Why Do Some People Handle Stress Better?

If one were to stop and observe human nature, it would be very interesting to note that two individuals could have totally different responses to the same stressor. Some people handle stress completely a different way to others. For example, if both lose their current job, one might be devastated while the other is glad to have a chance to find a better job now that he has no choice.

If two men are balding, one may be depressed and feel like he’s aging and becoming less attractive. The other may shave his head completely and hit the gym so that he can look a cool guy. Some people face and handle stress much better than others.

Let’s look at why some people cope with stress so much better than others. You’ll learn why it’s important to look at every disadvantage as a fortuitous opportunity. It’s all a matter of ‘positioning’ your thinking. You can read my earlier blog post – 5 best ways to release your stress here. 

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

1. Personality type

Cardiologists came up with a way to categorize people into 2 personality types, namely Type A and Type B. It was noted that the type A people were more likely to get coronary heart disease because of their personality.

Usually, type A people are highly competitive, driven, impatient, always feel like they need to rush and are more aggressive. Life is like one big challenge to them and they always need to get ahead. Small things stress them out because it ‘delays’ them from getting to where they want to be.

This constant hectic pace and pressures that they place upon themselves leads to chronic stress in the long run and brings with it all the health issues linked to stress.

Type B personalities are much more relaxed and laid back. They usually have a support network of friends and family that they can talk to if they’re stressed out. Type A people rarely confide in others because they feel that it’s ‘weakness’.

So, your personality type will affect the way you cope with stress. Type A people will need to make a Herculean attempt to be mindful about the way they think and act. This will allow them to slow down and not be triggered by everything.

2. Attitude

People with a positive attitude tend to cope with stress much better. Some people laugh easily and believe in themselves more. It also comes down to the amount of self-esteem you have.

A lady who is ditched by her partner may feel worthless and dejected. She may stress herself out and lose interest in life. She doesn’t believe she can get a new partner easily.

Another lady who is more confident, may respond differently to a break-up and tell herself that there are many fish in the sea and she can definitely find a man who is just right for her.

How they view the situation and respond to it makes all the difference.
“You can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can control what goes on inside.” – Dr Wayne W. Dyer

3. Coping strategies

How people cope with stress is an excellent indicator as to how well they’ll manage it. Positive actions like exercise, meditation, talking to a counsellor, journaling, etc. will help you to de-stress effectively.

Turning to alcohol, medication, drugs and other unhealthy activities will leave you even worse off. To overcome stress, you need to release it and not numb it.

The positive actions cause a release of pent-up emotions and stress. The unhealthy activities only numb the pain and drown it because you’re temporarily ‘desensitized’. You can rest assured that when you’re sober, the stress will return and you’ll feel worse.

4. Socioeconomic status

People with money generally cope with stress much more easily. It’s a broad generalization, but it holds true. Unexpected problems like loss of a job, a sudden illness, etc. can be managed more easily if you have money.

People who are poorer will be hit extra hard when they lose their job, or a sudden bill pops up. Living hand to mouth and from paycheck to paycheck is very stressful because there’s barely room to wiggle. Financial stress affects millions.

5. Gender

Both genders can get stressed out – but the stressors may vary. A woman who loses her job may take it much better than a man. She may have a husband who is also working. So, no worries there.

The man, however, may be the sole provider for the family and now has lost his income and sense of identity that was so closely tied to his job.

In the same vein, a woman may feel like a bad mother if her children are doing as well in school. She takes it personally. A man, however, will decide that the children need less TV time and more study time, and he’ll discipline them accordingly.

So, different stressors affect the genders differently… most of the time and people handle stress differently.

6. Age

One would think that the older you are, the harder you’re hit by stress. After all, you’ve lost the vim and vigour of youth and may not be as resilient. This is a HUGE misconception.

Older people are more experienced and have weathered the storms of life. They’re usually able to handle stress much better than the younger folk. Things that seem ‘very important’ to the young adults may not have much significance for seniors who know what really matters in life.

The boss who is stressing you out and getting you down will probably not have that effect on someone older who just ignores the ‘attitude’ knowing that the boss is probably insecure and has self-esteem issues.

Older people tend not to make other people’s problems their own. Age has its benefits. You realize what truly matters in life and you don’t sweat the small stuff.

These 6 points influence how a person handles stress. Now you have an idea why some people take things in their stride while others become a basket case. The goal is to tailor your attitude and thinking so that you can weather the storms of life with calmness and positivity. So this is why some people handle stress better.

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This website is written by a regular human. I am not a Health Professional. Please get professional medical advice for your specific health needs.