Psychological stability - what is it in psychology

One of the most characteristic features of modern life is nothing more than an increased impact on a person of stressful situations. They, lurking, wait for him in any area of ​​life and are always expressed differently. This could be a misunderstanding in the family, a delay in salary, a conflict with a negative salesperson in a store, a broken contract with a business partner, or some other trouble. But sometimes this is not what surprises us at all, but the fact that when they find themselves in such situations, some people instantly succumb to the influence of emotions: they resonate with a stressful situation, worry, get nervous, their mood deteriorates, etc. And others, finding themselves in similar (and even worse) conditions, seem to have long been prepared for such a development of events: they perceive everything easily and do not strain, maintain composure, and remain, if not in a positive, then at least in a neutral state. What is the difference between the two? Today we will talk about one of the psychological characteristics of a person - psychological stability.

What is mental toughness

Psychological stability is the ability to endure heavy loads and overcome fatigue, and maintain self-confidence. This character trait provides a person with rapid adaptation to new conditions, achievement of high sports results, timely elimination of academic debt, and career advancement.

In psychology, this is synonymous with stress resistance. The definition of psychological stability is based on a person’s ability to maintain an optimal level of performance in conditions of instability. Neuropsychic stability determines the level of resistance of the human body to various viruses.

Vitality should not be confused with callousness and rigidity. Stubborn and conservative individuals do not know how to be flexible. Outwardly, it may seem that such people demonstrate tolerance to the negative influence of circumstances by continuing to do what they were doing. But in fact, they cannot adapt to new conditions and choose a more effective model of behavior.

Also, one should not think that stress-resistant people are careless optimists who do not tend to experience negative emotions. A resilient person is a realist. He does not live by illusions; he tends to experience both positive and negative emotions. But he controls all emotions. Finding himself in a stressful situation, he mobilizes the body’s forces to transform it or looks for a way out of it.

The concept of stress resistance and its functions

Negative emotions can be experienced by a person of any status and rank. The only difference is the reason for their appearance and their quantity. People are not able to get rid of the emotions themselves and their influence; changing the person’s attitude towards such emotions is a completely feasible task. This change is called the body's resistance to stress.

Before you start looking for how to increase stress resistance, it is worth understanding what functions it performs. Today, psychologists have identified two main tasks that stress resistance performs, namely:

  • Protecting the body from the negative effects of stress.
  • The ability to easily exist in any area of ​​life.

Quite often, when enduring stressful situations, the health of the body deteriorates.

Sudden pain, a feeling of fatigue and weakness appear, blood pressure rises and the heartbeat quickens. Prolonged stress can lead to more serious consequences.

Under the influence of stress, the hormone cortisol begins to be produced more intensely. Its effect on the body can lead to negative consequences that significantly worsen health.

Stress level - level of danger

Stress resistance training not only improves your health, but also significantly improves your productivity at work.

When an individual becomes a stress-resistant person, he is not distracted by extraneous noise while performing his task, he is able to find a way out of any situation, overcoming a crisis is not a problem for him, and he ignores any manifestations of aggression, which makes him stand out from the crowd.

How is this quality formed?

Many people are interested in the question: what needs to be done to gain psychological stability? This personal characteristic is formed in the process of acquiring life experience on the basis of a positive image of “I”.

Vitality increases when a person completes the process of forming a mature personality and developing a value system. Its level is higher in people with high self-esteem. Independent and proactive people have a high level of stress resistance. To become stress-resistant, you need to develop leadership abilities and abandon the position of victim.

What factors influence increasing psychological stability?

The main factors in the formation of mental toughness are:

  1. Type of nervous system. People with a weak type of nervous system find it difficult to endure troubles. Their level of stress resistance will always be lower than the level of expression of this quality in people with a strong type of nervous system.
  2. Conditions of education. The style of parent-child relationships determines all the social qualities of an individual. Thus, with a democratic type of upbringing, children’s resistance to stress is higher than with an authoritarian type of upbringing.
  3. Self-sufficiency and independence. If a person is accustomed to relying only on himself and his own strengths in everything, then in a critical situation he will analyze the situation and look for ways to resolve it.
  4. Life experience. Psychological resilience will be higher among those people who know how to analyze their actions and admit their mistakes.
  5. Ability to collaborate and live in a team environment. The ability to interact with people and build effective communications is the key to successfully resolving any complex issue.
  6. Positive self-perception, absence of intrapersonal conflicts. Self-acceptance opens a person's path to self-development. Admitting your mistakes is the first step towards building resilience to life’s troubles.
  7. Optimistic attitude. Everyone needs to remember that thoughts are material. We attract to ourselves what we think about.
  8. The meaning of life and the desire for self-expression. People who have a purpose in life find it easier to cope with life's difficulties. Through creativity, they are distracted from negative experiences, maintaining mental balance.
  9. Religious Beliefs. Faith helps a person to endure any trials in life.

Classification of types

Increasing stress resistance is not always necessary. While studying how the brain transforms the information coming to it, scientists came to the conclusion that there are several typical behavioral lines.

Depending on how a person perceives and tolerates the negative impact of stressful situations, four categories of people are distinguished:

  1. Stress-resistant.
  2. Stress trained.
  3. Stress-inhibitory.
  4. Stress-resistant.

The first group includes people who cannot adapt to any changes in external conditions. They perceive any change in life as a reason for depression. A low level of stress tolerance is the main cause of excessive emotional arousal. People from this group cannot control their emotions and make decisions quickly and clearly. It is extremely important for them to cultivate stress resistance by turning to specialists for help.

Representatives of the second category calmly endure gradual changes. They tend to become depressed when there are global or sudden changes. For them, gaining experience is a fairly effective way to learn to react to stressful situations more calmly.

People who are classified by psychologists as stress-inhibiting individuals differ from others in their unchanged and fundamental life positions. Changes in the external environment do not cause an acute reaction in them. These people are ready for changes that come suddenly. Acute stress can make them leaders in problem solving.

Representatives of the fourth category practically do not need to train their resistance to stress. Stress-resistant people are not susceptible to any kind of psychological destruction. They are able to maintain their performance under any force majeure. Stress for them is exclusively insurmountable adversity.

A stress-resistant person experiences problems easily

Recommendations for developing psychological resilience

Psychological stability is not given to a person from birth. This means that it can be increased. How to do it?

  1. You need to motivate yourself to achieve your goal. This can only be done with self-discipline. You cannot allow yourself to deviate from your plans or abandon your goal just because unforeseen circumstances have arisen.
  2. Build friendly family relationships. It is easier for a child to become psychologically resistant to any stressful situations if he knows that he can openly ask his parents: “What should I do?”, “What should I do?” Psychological stability is difficult to develop in children in families where they do not tell each other about their experiences and do not ask for advice.
  3. Avoid loneliness. Communication with friends distracts you from negative thoughts and instills confidence that all problems can be solved. True friends will not leave each other in trouble. Friendly support helps to cope with troubles.
  4. An unclear situation should be regarded as an opportunity for self-development. Such situations stimulate out-of-the-box thinking. If a person is not afraid of change, is ready to master new activities and explore the unknown, he will persevere through any difficulties.
  5. Master relaxation and meditation techniques. Living in constant tension exhausts the nervous system. Weak nerves are the first sign of emotional burnout and stress. To prevent negative consequences, you need to take care of your psychological health.
  6. Exercise regularly. Physical activity has a positive effect on the entire body. Many athletes say that training in the gym or stadium helps them find a solution to a complex issue.
  7. Maintaining a daily routine and a balanced diet. In order for a person to have the strength to overcome difficulties, you need to get proper rest and eat healthy food.
  8. You need to learn to see the positive components in any situation. If a person learns to notice the good in any situation, his worldview will change for the better. He will learn not only to enjoy the little things, but also to use the peculiarities of the situation to solve the problem. That is, the level of his psychological resilience will increase.

Find your inner masochist

As much as we want to feel good all the time, a small part of us likes pain and suffering. Because by overcoming them, we feel that our life has meaning. The most important moments in life that define us are often the most unpleasant: the proximity of death, the loss of loved ones, divorces and separations, victory in a painful battle or overcoming a difficult trial. It is through experiencing difficulties that we grow and change, and when we look back, we even feel grateful for them.

This happened to me too. I remember starting my business in 2008 and working 12, 14, 16 hours a day. I remember how I fell asleep lying with the laptop on my stomach, and in the morning I immediately went to work.

At first I worked so hard out of fear and necessity. I was broke, the economy was below par, I had nowhere to go. I lived on my friends’ couch, then my girlfriend supported me. Most months I couldn't help with rent. Sometimes I didn't have money for food. But I was determined that if I failed, it wouldn't be for lack of trying. Over time, these crazy working hours became the norm.

Then I realized that I had unintentionally developed a superpower in myself.

I remember a few years later, when my friends and I were renting a coworking house on the beach, I noticed that I was the first to get up and the last to turn off my computer at night. I worked on weekends and holidays without even knowing they were weekends and holidays. Over time it has become something that makes me proud, a part of my identity that I enjoy indulging.

Of course, workaholism has its downsides, and now I have learned to turn it on and off as needed. But I still get some kind of perverse pleasure from it and am still proud that I can work all weekend.

We all have that inner masochist. In athletes it manifests itself when they test the limits of their physical capabilities, in scientists when they obsessively analyze data, in soldiers and police officers when they risk themselves for the sake of others. When is yours? What pains do you enjoy? And how can you use this to your advantage during life’s difficulties?


First you need to understand the terminology. It is believed that emotional stability is a human property that manifests itself in varying degrees of sensitivity in relation to psychological stimuli.

However, this definition is not the only one. It is also believed that this term refers to the non-susceptibility of emotional processes and states to the destructive influences of external and internal conditions.

Accordingly, this quality minimizes the negative impact of strong emotional upheavals, prevents stress, and also contributes to the emergence of readiness to act in any tense situations.

It is important to note that although the topic concerns psychology, it directly affects the physiological aspect. Because emotions practically at one moment unite all the functions of the body into a single whole. They are a signal of harmful or beneficial effects. And emotions are triggered before the localization of influences and the response mechanism are determined.


Surely many would like to know their level of emotional stability. For this purpose, you can take one of the many simple tests. Some of them include only 10 questions. Here is an example of such a test with answer options and scores:

  • Do you often have nightmares? (No – 1; yes – 2).
  • Do you easily hide your feelings? (No – 1; yes – 0).
  • Do you often feel guilty? (No – 0; yes – Z).
  • Is crowded society annoying? (No – 0; yes – Z).
  • Do you need people who can console, approve or understand? (No – 1; yes – 2).
  • Are you easily offended by jokes directed at you? (No – 1; yes – Z).
  • Does your mood change often? (No – 1; yes – 2).
  • Is it easy to get used to new people? (No – 2; yes – 0).
  • Do you take everything that happens around you close to your heart? (No – 0; yes – Z).
  • Do you get angry easily? (No – 1; yes – 2).

By answering these questions, it will be possible to determine what kind of emotional stability a person has (high or low), as well as how strong his psychological defense is.

The main thing is positivity

To increase emotional stability, it is very important to develop a positive attitude towards yourself. Why is it important? Because if a person is a positive character for himself, then he is whole inside.

It's about harmony. A person who lives in accordance with his worldview, beliefs and principles is psychologically satisfied. Therefore, it is important to do what you love, spend time on hobbies that interest you, and always strive for spiritual improvement and self-development. All of the above has a direct constructive impact on both the person himself and his life.

All people who live with positivity are much less likely to perceive stressful situations as extreme, unstable and negative. They know how to remain calm at all times. And this is the most important psychological factor of efficiency, reliability and success in extreme conditions.


What is the result of this test technique? Emotional stability can be of four levels:

  • High (up to 7 points). The person has a stable psyche. It is unlikely that he is afraid of at least some emotional stress. This is not bad, but it is still recommended to keep your nervous system in the same condition.
  • Average (8-9 points). The person is quite balanced and knows how to respond adequately to the vast majority of situations that cause stress. Most people have this level.
  • Low (15-20 points). Excessive emotionality distinguishes a person - it would not hurt him to acquire mental self-regulation skills. It might even be worth taking calming herbal remedies.
  • Critical (21-25 points). People with this indicator are characterized by an extreme degree of excitability. They have very low psychological defense, and their nerves are “naked.” Tranquilizers are often indicated for such individuals. Many people go to psychotherapists.
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