Making friends with Stress
by Louise D'Allura on February 13th, 2014

Each month I take time out to watch at least two TED talks because I love the perspective, inspiration, learning and ideas they provide!  This month I wanted to share with you a brilliant video featuring Kelly McGonigal, a Psychologist who urges us to see stress as a positive because the biological impact may only be bad for us! 

Kelly also talks about another biological mechanism that automatically happens that leads to stress reduction: reaching out to others!  Yep we are programmed to do that!
 
It is fantastic viewing given we are all so acutely attuned to stress and how it makes us feel.  It takes only 15 minutes!  Now if you're super pressed for time start watching at 4:20 as Kelly issues a challenge ... that elicits a stress response. 
 
She then goes on to explain how the way we interpret our stress response (pounding heart, anxiety, breathing quicker and making your forehead sweat) can actually be our body becoming “energised to meet challenges”.   Kelly talks about a research program where participants were told to view stress response as ‘helpful’.  By changing their thinking from stress as a negative to something more helpful the stress response becomes healthier. i.e. “this is my body helping me rise to this challenge” 

Watch the video below or click on this link if you have any issues:
http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html
 
In this video Kelly also talks about how the stress response also makes us social! 

When we are stressed our body releases oxytocin a neurohormone that is a stress hormone – which is as much a part of the stress response as adrennaline!  The big difference though is this hormone makes us CRAVE human contact.  It literally is encouraging us to seek support and be surrounded by others.
 
All in all the research shows we create the biology of courage plus when we connect with others understress, we create resilience.
 
Our body is helping us and we didn’t even know it!  We really can trust ourselves to handle life’s challenges - knowing we aren’t meant to face them on our own!

Now, I would love to hear from you!  In the comments below, tell me do you deal with stress and convert it from di-stress to a positive stress? I would love hear it !!  

If you’ve found this article of interest, please share it with your friends!  I really do appreciate you taking the time to read and share. 


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