The Science of Stress

By Angela Kaufmann

#JLT #Training #Life #Stress
Published: January 22, 2016

How often have you heard that stress is harmful to your health? That you should find methods to reduce or eliminate it in order to improve your quality of life? Without a doubt, stress can negatively impact your wellbeing in a number of ways from altering your digestive and bowel habits to exacerbating diseases like asthma and hypertension. If you are like most people, you’ve heard this a lot and you’ve probably spent a good amount of time trying to brainstorm ideas to minimize it – exercise, reading, taking some time to yourself. The thing is, however, not all stress is bad. In fact, when stress is viewed in a helpful way, such that your body is helping you cope and manage the particular task at hand, it can be beneficial. By simply adjusting your thought process, you can change the physiologic response of stress to mimic that of joy and courage.

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal gives a wonderful TED Talk on this very subject and helps to teach us more about this phenomenon. She explores the science behind positive and negative stress and explains how neurohormones, like oxytocin, can help you promote physical and emotional resilience.

I urge each of you to check out Kelly’s full TED Talk and to consider making a change that could save your life.