It's hard to know how well you'd handle a pressurised situation before it happens but a new study, published in the European Psychologist, claims that there are seven qualities that help people to thrive in tense situations.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth and the University of Bath looked into a plethora of previous studies of how humans achieve fulfilment in difficult circumstances and found the seven most common qualities shared by those who thrive under pressure.
In no particular order these are:
- positive perspective (optimism)
- spiritual or religious
- motivated and interested
- someone who enjoys learning
- flexible and psychologically resilient to change
- socially competent
People don't have to possess every component on this list in order to thrive, say the authors, but a combination of a few from each could certainly help.
But no man (or woman) is an island and researchers also found that in order for these traits to really help someone cope with intense situations they also needed support from loved ones and strong interpersonal relationships.
To sum up their research, lead author Daniel Brown, a sport and exercise scientist at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K., says that the act of thriving seems to come down to 'feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something'.
The good news is that we can encourage thriving in others too -like our children or other halves.
'It's likely to be important for individuals to feel they have a choice in what they are doing, that they hold close and supportive relationships with people around them, and that they perceive themselves having some level of competence in the tasks they are completing,' Brown told Health.
So do you know how well you'd cope under pressure?
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