|Stress is not in exactly in short supply right now. Many Americans report having moderate to high levels of stress (Patterson, 2020). But what if I told you that stress could actually be good for your health? No, it’s not a joke; it all depends on how you perceive stress. Researchers have discovered that if we change the way we think about stress, we can experience a variety of health benefits, including a longer life. (May, 2014).
Next time you experience stress, ask yourself, “How am I responding?” Is your heart beating faster or harder? Are your breaths irregular? Are you sweating? Instead of viewing these changes as uncomfortable inconveniences, view them as beneficial. If we learn how to view the stress response as helpful, we are less likely to suffer from the negative effects of stress.
Try applying this principle the next time you experience stress. Below are some examples of thoughts that can help you shift the way you react to stress so that you can benefit from all the good that stress has to offer,
“My body is providing me the energy I need to act.”
“My body is experiencing these changes to help me survive.” After all, these fight or flight symptoms have helped our ancestors survive for generations.
“My body is communicating to me in the attempt of helping me out.”
I recommend you listen to the TED talk and read the article cited below to learn more about the research and how to individualize the benefits to your life.
May, K. (2014, July 16). 7 ways stress does your mind and body good. We Humans.
Patterson, E. (2020, November 6). Stress facts and statistics. The Recovery Village
McGonigal, K. (2013, June). How to make stress your friend [Video]. TEDGlobal.