Under the environment of fierce competition, the only way John could imagine ______ stress was to get tougher by making greater efforts．
A．handling B．to handle C． handled D．having handled
This is taken from our recent test paper. The given answer is B. But I think we should say 'Under the circumstances of' and I feel 'get tougher by making greater efforts' sounds a bit strange. How does the test question read to native speakers?
Many thanks in advance.