Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Why do some people develop serious health problems under stress while some lucky ones do not? The answer lies in understanding the concept of 'hardiness'.  There are three crucial aspects which are collectively named as 'hardiness'. The first of these refers to control, which is concerned with people's belief that they can influence events in their lives. Second aspect of hardiness is to do with commitment, which is people's involvement in the events, activities and relationships in their lives. The third characteristic of hardiness refers to challenge, which is a tendency to view changes as incentives and a crisis as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat to security.

Research clearly shows that hardy people are healthier and are less likely to become anxious under pressure. As a result, the spiraling effect through which stress can lead to illness will be avoided. The three characteristics of control, commitment and challenge are the most important traits, which people should enhance in their lives to safeguard against the harmful effects of stress.

If a person dear to us is seriously ill, we would not mind inconvenience to ourselves to be available for them as support. The physical stress or the hardship matters in the least because we feel a strong sense of commitment. This sense of commitment or passion for something can build resilience in a person and create a buffer to effects of stress.

Studies on hardy people have shown that they have healthier pasts, many activities involving social service and personal growth. In an era where stress is becoming a way of life, hardiness would make a world of difference to people's health.

I realize that set backs are a part of the game. I have had them, I have them now and I have got plenty more ahead of me. Seeing this 'The big picture puts it all into perspective no matter how bad things get.'

Useful Tips

  1. Develop a variety of interest and travel different places

  2. Learn to clearly prioritize, based on your level of satisfaction

  3. Visualize successful outcomes for your actions

  4. Try to be passionate about what you do

Pick one of the above tips and start implementing it in your lifestyle for better mental hygiene.

If you thought it was helpful and would like to see some more articles like this in future, please mail your comments at

Cheers - Dr. Lata Hemchand (Director)

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