Ch. 11- Stress (Option 2)

I watched the TED talk “Making Stress Your Friend” where Kelly McGonigal discusses how to change our relationship with stress. She is a health psychologist who told her patients to avoid stress, but after hearing stress is actually healthy, she changed her perception of stress. Studies were done to prove that stress is not always bad. If we decide to use stress as something helpful, there is no effect on our overall health. The first study tracked 30,000 adults for 8 years and there was a higher risk of them dying if they believed stress was bad for them. Another study put people in different scenarios like a speech and taking a math test, which increases stress. The contestants who thought of the stress as helpful, were less anxious and more confident. Their blood vessels stayed normal, like during moments of joy, which decreased the possibility of a heart attack at an early age.

I think that what we believe plays a large role on how our body reacts. We control what we think and do, and our brain is connected to all of our organs and organ systems. I do agree that the way we use stress can help us in the long run. The truth is, especially with college, there will be stress, so why not use stress to the best of our ability. I usually think of placebos when I hear topics like these because it is all in our minds.

In my life, I will think during a stressful situation about how I am going to conquer an obstacle and be with friends during stressful moments. Asking for help and how to go about something stressful may limit my also use stress as a good thing. From the TED talk I also learned that caring creates resilience, and I will find joy in a stressful position.

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