Why are some people better able to cope with stress than others?

Increasingly, researchers are attempting to zero in on factors that make some people "stress-hardy" while others seem "stress-intolerant" and more readily succumb to anxiety disorders.

Some scientists compare stress resilience to a green twig that bends but doesn't break when you twist it. This trait seems to be the product of biological, environmental, and emotional factors. Some of the factors that are at play include genetic makeup, having an adaptive coping style, and having or developing a "realistically optimistic" outlook in which you acknowledge life's negatives but don't dwell on them. Having had a nurturing, supportive adult involved in your life during childhood seems to be protective. Bonds forged with others continue to play a key role. Research reveals that a high level of social support even in adulthood cushions you from the effects of stress.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.