This Ted Talk deals with rethinking stress and I must say the results are pretty amazing. According to Kelly McGonigal, a mainstream health psychologist and frequent TedTalk-lecturer, stress may not be so bad for us after all. It bears repeating: stress may not be so bad for us after all!
I’m sure you have all heard that stress leads to a number of health problems, including, inter alia, heart conditions, weight gain and increased incidence of obesity, and, worst of all, increased mortality rates. I know I have. However, based on the referenced study, a person’s physical response to stress may only be harmful if that person also believes stress is harmful. The study suggests instead that our bodies’ physical responses to stress could actually be a good thing — that our bodies are gearing up to meet any potential challenges. What a novel observation! Notice your sweaty palms and tachycardia (increased heart rate)? How about experiencing tunnel vision? While these common symptoms of stress have historically been considered harmful to us, these symptoms may also be signs that your body is changing to better respond to the trials you face ahead. By rethinking stress in this way, we do not eliminate stress, but we certainly are better equipped to deal with it.
Of course, rethinking stress may be easier said than done. The notion that stress is harmful has been engrained in modern medicine and accepted health care. But, according to the study cited, rethinking stress may ultimately be the difference between life with– or death from– stress. If you’ve experienced any stress at all (and I know we all have), this approach will change (and, hopefully, prolong) your life. Watch this video, improve your life. It’s time to rethink stress. And really, what harm is there in experimenting with this practice for a few days?