Stress is good. This blog is dedicated to a New Year of courage, resilience and adventure.
Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist on a mission, to undo years of work providing misinformation, that stress is bad for you. In actuality, the stress response is helpful. The core of the avoidance pattern so many of us are vulnerable to is an effort towards a healthier less stressful life, as we all experience though, the more you avoid a stressful experience the more stressful it can become. To understand and realize that stress is actually healthy will allow for us to have a fuller life, with less stress, as we grow our muscle for courage. Courage is the catalyst for change I see again and again as a therapist. Below is a portion of her transcript from the TED Talk she gave which has received over 18 million views. The link to the talk itself is right here.
When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience. Now I wouldn’t necessarily ask for more stressful experiences in my life, but this science has given me a whole new appreciation for stress. Stress gives us access to our hearts.
And yes, your pounding physical heart, working so hard to give you strength and energy. And when you choose to view stress in this way, you’re not just getting better at stress, you’re actually making a pretty profound statement. You’re saying that you can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges. And you’re remembering that you don’t have to face them alone.”
In conclusion, I encourage you to work opposite the emotion of fear, step boldly into a stress filled situation with a quiet optimism, and understanding that you are stronger than you realize. We all are.