The Stress Management Composite scale is comprised of Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, and Optimism. Collectively, this facet of emotional intelligence addresses how well one can cope with the emotions associated with change and unfamiliar or unpredictable circumstances, while remaining hopeful about the future and resilient in the face of setbacks and obstacles.
Flexibility is adapting emotions, thoughts and behaviours to unfamiliar, unpredictable, and dynamic circumstances or ideas. This component of emotional intelligence refers to one’s overall ability to adapt and tolerate the stress that accompanies change. Flexible people are agile and capable of reacting to change with minimal adverse effect; they are open to and capable of change, and tolerant of new ideas, orientations, and practices.
Stress Tolerance involves coping with stressful or difficult situations and believing that one can manage or influence those situations in a positive manner. This component of emotional intelligence is multifaceted: one’s stress tolerance depends on being equipped with the necessary and relevant coping skills; maintaining a belief that one can handle the situation; and feeling confident that one can have a positive impact on the outcome. Stress tolerance is very much related to resilience and, when coupled with optimism, is a strong indicator of one’s ability to effectively deal with problems and crises (as opposed to surrendering to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness). When stress tolerance is low, anxiety is likely, which can have negative effects on well-being, concentration, and ultimately performance.
Optimism is an indicator of one’s positive attitude and outlook on life. It involves remaining hopeful and resilient, despite occasional setbacks. Optimism assumes a measure of hope in one’s approach to life. It is a positive approach to daily living and a significant component of resilience and well-being.