Are There Health Benefits to Stress and Anxiety?

Stress gives us access to our hearts. Kelly McGonigal - Ultimate Success Quotes

Kelly McGonigal

 When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress.

Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, shares what may be the most important new information about stress in this TED Talk.

Thinking that stress is good or bad determines whether it is helpful or harmful to you.

Kelly points to research in which participants were told that their pounding heart was a good sign. The blood vessels for these participants didn’t restrict like those who viewed stress as harmful and threatening.

Good Stress

This means that when you find yourself in a situation that causes anxiety and stress, ask yourself,

“what if this is my body giving me what I need to get through this?”

Thank your body for giving you a ‘jumpstart’ of extra energy to face whatever is challenging you at that moment. When you befriend it, Kelly’s research says that your body’s stress response will be healthier.

Does This Work For Chronic Stress?

It isn’t uncommon to be in a chronically stressful situation, like a job or a living situation you feel you can’t leave. Will this strategy make it all go away? No, but it gives you a powerful tool that you are completely at choice to use. This will pave the way for you to build the confidence that you need to make a change. Yes, choosing to see your stress response as help from your body will begin to strengthen your “I am at choice” muscle which will open the door to you believing that you can make the next choice.

What About Anxiety?

Anxiety is the state caused by fear of some danger and foreboding. When you approach your stress experiences from a positive perspective, anxiety will no longer be a side-effect. You won’t be afraid that your physical stress is going to harm you. You will begin to see that making this choice to shift your perspective on stress will open up the possibility of changing the source of your chronic stress.

  • you can change the way you see it
  • you can change it
  • you can leave it
  • you can accept it because you see the other benefits it may bring to you

Watch Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk here and learn all about improving your relationship to stress.


PS – Share your thoughts about how stress affects you in the comments below.


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