Make Stress Your Friend

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Make Stress Your Friend


The very word prompts anxiety and worry. Stress has many negative connotations. We have learned to look at it as a demon responsible for numerous health issues. However, despite all the bad reputation it has, stress can sometimes be good for you. Apparently, we can make stress our friend. Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, used to warn her patients that stress can increase the risk of a wide variety of ailments. Then, new research changed her mind.

In her TED TALK explored a startling research finding that – Stress may only have negative health consequences if you believe that it will.

A study done by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted a survey of 29,000 respondents who were asked specific questions on stress levels, stress management and perceptions about how stress affects health.

Overall, they found that respondents who reported a lot of stress and perception that stress has a big impact on health had an increased hazard ratio – which converted to a 43% increased risk of premature death. However, survey respondents who reported a lot of stress but little to no perception that stress impacted health had the lowest hazard ratio of any group in the survey, even those who felt almost no stress.

Her suggestion after the study’s findings is; instead of fearing stress, befriend it.

In her TED TALK below, Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive and lists seven ways stress does your mind and body good.

She says that stress can:

  • Propel you forward and enable you to meet a challenge.
  • Can make you more social
  • Improve learning

Find out more in the video below and start embracing stress as a factor in your life that has positive outcomes.

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