It turns out that how you think about stress is also one of those core beliefs that can affect your health, happiness, and success. As we’ll see, your stress mindset shapes everything from the emotions you feel during a stressful situation to the way you cope with stressful events. That, in turn, can determine whether you thrive under stress or end up burned out and depressed. The good news is, even if you are firmly convinced that stress is harmful, you can still cultivate a mindset that helps you thrive.
Kelly Mcgonigal is a health psychologist who is known for her work in the field of ‘science help’—popular explication of scientific research—as it relates to achieving personal goals despite inner conflict. A longtime advocate of self-compassion and mindfulness as stress-coping strategies, Mcgonigal has some keen insights on how to better ourselves in terms of self-control.
She also advises people on stress management. For years she tried to teach people how to avoid stress. Recently, however, she’s realized that fear of stress was actually more harmful than stress itself.
In fact, more people die each year from worrying about dying from stress than actually dying from stress induced heart attacks or any other stress related illnesses. This finding was game-changing and lead Mcgonigal to reevaluate how we look at stress.
After more studies, it’s been proven that stress can actually help you — if you respond to it correctly. The right response to stress should be, “This is my body helping me rise to this challenge.”
When you think about stress that way, your body believes you. Stress actually gives you courage and leads to increased productivity.
Take some time to listen to Mcgonigal’s new insight on stress and how to use it to your advantage to live a longer, happier life.