Numerous theories have been proposed to explore the qualities that aid individuals in coping with stressful situations. One such theory focuses on character, which serves as a model for understanding and processing information about oneself, others, and the world. Specifically, character strengths have been identified as protective factors that contribute to a person’s subjective well-being, physical health, and ability to handle stress.
When it comes to stress, individuals with high levels of character strength exhibit an enhanced ability to perceive and manage stressors. As a result, they experience faster psychological recovery following stressful experiences. To illustrate this, a study investigated the physiological responses of individuals with high and low trait resilience to a social stress situation. The findings revealed that those with high trait resilience demonstrated significant decreases in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), indicating a more favorable cardiovascular response to stress.
Moreover, individuals with high character strengths displayed both psychological and physiological adaptation to stress. These strengths reflect positive patterns of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, suggesting that individuals with strong character traits tend to rely on positive emotions, which in turn facilitates a quicker recovery of cardiovascular functioning.
In summary, character strengths play a vital role in an individual’s ability to cope with stress. They contribute to subjective well-being, physical health, and facilitate psychological recovery. By fostering positive emotions and adaptive patterns of behavior, individuals with high character strengths exhibit improved resilience and adaptability when facing stressful situations.
Li T, Duan W, Guo P. 2017. Character strengths, social anxiety, and physiological stress reactivity. PeerJ 5:e3396 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3396