Whether it’s struggling to finish a project on time or sitting in traffic when you’re running late for a meeting, stress manages to creep its way into our lives. Unfortunately, these stress levels are rising among business professionals, with two-thirds of employees reporting that work is their biggest stressor. These high stress levels are leading to both psychological and physiological damages. So how do we become more resilient to these stresses? How do we cope with these events in our daily lives? It is hardiness that is the pathway to this resilience we crave!



What is hardiness?

A hardy individual is one who expects stress to occur and realizes that stress is normal! Stress does occur in our daily lives, but a hardy individual will turn this event into an opportunity for growth by directly acting on the stressful experience.

What are the dimensions that promote hardiness?

Research suggests that it is the “3 C’s” that promote hardiness in an individual.

Commitment – This is the ability to be fully engaged in all aspects of your life. One is driven by a sense of meaning and purpose, no matter the size of the task. To discover commitment in your life, you need to create a purpose and ask yourself “why”? Why did you want to become a nurse? Why did you enroll in a particular program? It is important to know why we do what we do, as it is this that is our inner driver!

Challenge – Those with hardiness love challenge! It is change that can work as motivation for one to improve. You need to accept the challenge and make it yours. Change is a normal part of life, so it’s important to turn this challenge into an opportunity for you!

Control – This is the belief that you have an influence over events that happen in your life.  It is important to shift from an external locus of control, where you attribute the blame to factors other than yourself, to an internal locus of control. So when you are overwhelmed, focus on what you can do!

By focusing on these dimensions, we can work to become hardy individuals and not let stress get the best of us!


This blog is based upon the webinar “Stress Hardiness: Thriving Under Pressure” presented by Dr. Andrea Dinardo on January 30th, 2013.


One response to “”

  1. Dr. Andrea Dinardo says :

    Excellent overview of Stress Hardiness! Well organized and easy to follow. Thank you for taking the time to put this together! I look forward to reading more posts on UHN Wellness Blog, and sharing resources with clients and nursing students.

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