Coping With Stress: Factors Influencing Individual Tolerances

Coping refers to strategies used to overcome the ravages of stress. Different people use different strategies to cope with stress and this depends on the nature of stressors and the context in which it occurs. There are various coping strategies which have varying impacts on the individual.  Stress is defined as anything that puts a threat or a challenge to our well being. Some stress is good because they teach people on how to cope with life challenges. Bad stress undermines physical and mental health and is caused by persistent negative perception about an issue. This article analyzes pertinent factors influencing individual tolerance to stress by examining the interconnections between health, stress, economy and access to health care.

Social support factors

The kind of friends’ people keeps influence their health condition in different ways. A study conducted by Jemmott and Magloire (1988) found a strong positive connection between social support and immune functioning in students, and this was further confirmed in many other studies. Social support is therefore good medicine for the physical and mental health problems. Social support protects individuals from the negative effect of stressful events. People exposed to stress tend to show less physiological reaction when in the company of others than when in isolation. Strong social support can help in reducing the negative effects of stress and enhances individual tolerance to stress hence having lots of interactions is highly recommended.

Economic factors

Economic problems particularly financial issues are known to enhance the level of stress. Lack of adequate finance and debts have been found to cause stress. Economic hardships coupled with increased un-employment rates in the country has put much pressure on individuals to provide for their family leading to economic stress (US BLS, 2010). Economic stress is majorly triggered by loss of job and major changes to family income making it hard to meet family needs and other financial obligations leading to emotional distress Gershoff et al, 2007). The impact is poor relationships between household members and poor mental development in children as a result of poverty. Most of these factors are beyond family control but members are advised to work towards enhancing the control of the financial situation. Communicating financial concerns with family members could help in mitigating the impact of economic stress. It is also advisable to have positive attitude to whatever economic situation that comes. Thoughts are powerful and they affect both mental and physical health (Science Daily, 2006).

Access to care

Doctors can prescribe appropriate medications to mask the effect of stress as one tries to cope with the condition. Medical hypnosis has to done by a professional clinical psychologist to assist the patient to enter into extreme relaxation and in a focused state to allow healing process to occur. However, a number of people are not able to access qualified health care professionals due to lack of finance. This has heightened the impact of stress on individuals leading to poor health conditions. Policies should be enacted to enhance access by cash strained but stressed persons to health care services to mitigate the negative impact of stress (Thomas, 2009).


There is high interconnections between stress, health status and socio economic conditions. Chronic stress is known to cause both physical and mental problems in persons and efforts should be taken to prevent stress from reaching chronic conditions. Stress can be reduced through social interactions, proper management of economic pressure and increased access to health care professionals such as clinical psychologists. Social interactions are easy and essential strategies for coping with ravaging stressing events in our daily life. Communication with family members and having positive attitudes could greatly help in managing stress in family members.


Reference list

Gershoff, E. Aber, L., Raver, C., & Lennon, M. (2007). Income is not enough: Incorporating material hardship into models of income associations with parenting and child development. Child Development Journal. 78, 70-95.

Jemmot, J. B and Magloire, K (1988). Academic stress, social support and secretory immunoglobulin A. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 55(5), 803-810.

Science Daily (2006) Long-term poverty affects mental health of children. Retrieved on 17th August, 2017 from

Thomas, R. (2009).The Perfect Healthcare Storm. Business Perspectives. 20(1), 36-43.

US BLS. (2010). Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Washington, DC. Accessed on February 17, 2017 at

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