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    Health and Wellness

How to make stress your friend

This Ted talk is about how stress is always seen as something that is negative. Kelly McGonigal explains that people don't die from stress, but that they they can die from the belief that stress is bad for you. She explains that if you can change your mind about stress, you can change your bodies reactions to stress. Instead of viewing the signs of stress as bad, such as sweating or increased heart rate, view the stress response as helpful. Stress energizes you and can help you perform. When thinking about stress you can change your response with just an attitude change. Participants who viewed stress as helpful, had blood vessels that stayed relaxed. She says instead of being intimidated by stress say, " this is my body helping me arise to this challenge." She also mentions that Oxytocin is hormone released during stress response. Oxytocin is normally known as a social hormone that makes you want to connect with people. When you are stressed, Oxytocin is flowing and your body is telling you to open up to others and this will help to relieve stress. Also, people that spent more time with others were less stressed. It is all about attitude and if you view stress as helpful then you are helping your body. You can learn to control stress and learn to cope with it. Athletes that can learn to control their stress could possibly learn to use it to make them better and not let it affect their performance.

Comments

I really enjoyed this take on stress. Although clearly there is a link between chronic stress and life expectancy, which we discussed in class, it is attractive to think that how we actively respond to stress and interpret its existence can negate... more »I really enjoyed this take on stress. Although clearly there is a link between chronic stress and life expectancy, which we discussed in class, it is attractive to think that how we actively respond to stress and interpret its existence can negate the health impairing effects that it has. I also appreciated Kelly's acknowledgement that in tough times, our bodies crave social support and contact. I think that it is often underrated and can be one of the most effective mechanisms in handling stress. 09-11-2015 10:10am

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Comment by Molly Stuller

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