Health & Beauty · Uncategorized

How to Make Stress Your Friend, Not Your Enemy.

Today in my Adult Developmental Psychology class I learned something really interesting: believing stress is harmful for your health increases your risk of dying by a massive statistical amount. Stress kills more people than skin cancer. Believing it is bad predisposes you to CVD (Cardiovascular Disease). You can learn how to limit this by believing stress is good for you.

I really encourage all of you to watch this Ted Talk. Kelly talks about changing your body’s response to stress by believing that stress is good for you. To believe that stress is preparing your body to meet the challenge.

Stress actually activates biological mechanisms that can BENEFIT you, only if you believe it is not the enemy. 

Here are a few to mention:

  •  Breathing faster gets more oxygen to your brain and limbs
  •  Your pounding heart is getting you ready for action and circulates oxygen as well. (adrenaline)
  •  If you believe stress is helpful, your vessels will not constrict and they will look the way they do during times of joy and courage.
  •  stress releases oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone”. It encourages you to seek out support from other people and crave physical contact. It also encourages empathy and compassion.
  •  Ocytoxin also protects your cardiovascular system against damage during stress. Oxytocin helps heart cells regenerate and strengthens your heart.
  •  Kelly shares a study of 1000 adults in the USA ages 34-93. The study correlated stress and how much these adults helped others in their community/family. The people that spent more time helping others and caring showed no signs of increased risk of dying because of stress. Their vessels didn’t constrict. Those that didn’t nurture close relationships showed a  >40% increase in dying. The study used public records to look over which of the 1000 adults died through the duration of the study.

Appreciate your stress. It is your friend. Connect with others and embrace the strength it can give you!

Here is the video:

https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend

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