Several months ago, a friend recommended a book called “The Upside of Stress.” I finally picked it up at the library. I learned a number of new ideas on what science says about the role of stress in our lives. Lots of times, and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit this, I feel stressed about the stress in my life. No need for that! Research shows that embracing stress is the way to go. Here are highlights that I found useful.
There are more kinds of stress states than just fight or flight. Another type of stress condition is a beneficial one. That’s when you rise to a challenge or are in a state of flow. Your heart can benefit from certain chemicals released in such times. These types of experiences also help build resiliency and confidence.
Having a meaningful life generally includes stress because stress arises when you deeply care about something.
Stress is harmful mainly when you think it is. Re-framing an issue (changing your mindset) really does work as a stress-management tool. One example is to understand that stress can help by giving you energy. Another approach is to think about your core values, priorities, long-term goals or what other people are experiencing. When put into a larger context, daily hassles become less irksome. People suffer less after a stressful event if they are able to find a way to learn or grow from it.
TED talk by Dr Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend