Is There An Upside Of Stress?

upside-of-stressKelly McGonigal’s Upside of Stress Helps Reduce Stress by Transforming it. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared stress a worldwide epidemic. Everyone wants to reduce stress. As you would expect, If you were to ask a room full of people “who feels stressed on a regular basis?” the majority of hands in the room go up. That is what Kelly McGonigal did in her popular Ted Talk in Ireland.

Unexpectedly, Kelly McGonigal took the discussion in a whole new direction.. Ever heard someone talk about the upside of stress? Probably not. This is because we all grew up believing that no good can ever come out of stressful situations. We have been taught that stress is toxic and killing us. It is a demon that ends up affecting our health, productivity, and relationships. That’s what Kelly McGonigal used to teach people too.

Stress Not Always a Bad Thing

She was moved by her discovery that science started to prove that this was not the whole truth about stress. She was skeptical about the science and did her own research to confirm its legitimacy. After her confirmation and transformation on the topic she wrote the “The Upside of Stress” to share it with the world. Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist and professor at Stanford University lecturing on how to reduce stress levels and transform stress. “The Upside of Stress” came out in May 2015 and since then it has been changing perspectives around the world on how we are perceiving and relieving stress. She is also the author of the famous “The willpower instinct”. Understanding how our brains function and how that relates to our behavior affecting our personal well being and the community is her passion. This book came across as a breath of fresh air to me and confirmed my own beliefs about how to avoid stress, reduce stress, and transform stress.

Stress Is Energy And It’s About Energy Management

I speak often about energy management. How we avoid and transform stress is energy management. Stress is energy. It is like second hand smoke and surrounds you when you come in contact with it. You need to know how to clear your way out of it quickly. I was excited about this book and have been recommending it to everyone I know. What is the book about? The book is based on the latest research, which goes on to prove that being in stressful situations is not as bad as we think it is. It is actually good for us. If tackled properly, we might end up gaining more from the stressful situations in our life. Stress creates growth. It is in stress that we find our courage. It is through stress that we learn about ourselves and the world around us. Kelly, supported by scientific studies related in the book, believes that stress has the power to deteriorate our health, affect our work and lower our productivity only because we allow it to do so. That is hard to believe right. Depending on what we focus on and what you believe about stress, will impact our health and productivity in a positive way or in a detrimental way. It is our belief about stress that matters more than the stress itself.

The Effect You Expect To Get From Stress Is One You Get

She says “The effect you expect is the effect you get”. This is almost like Henry Ford’s quote about if you think you can or you think you can’t– you are right. Stress is inevitable your live but there is a way to avoid this mental stress simply by better understanding what we believe about stress and the situation. A specific study she recounts is the shake test. The same shake was given to 2 groups but they were told they were different. One group believed it was healthy and the other believed it was a fattening indulgence. The shake effected their digestive track based on the belief of what was in the shake. Really! Juts like the placebo effect we have heard of. It is one of many studies that prove our mind and body our intricately connected and affect and infect one another. Interestingly enough, she included a study that used the placebo effect and told people it was a sugar pill. Then informing the people why placebos often provide the same results as the medicine itself. The results were astonishing as the placebo still worked. It really is in what we think and how we show up. Science tells us stress also brings out the social component in us which when embraced ends up relieving stress. Stress releases 2 hormones, Cortisol and Oxytocin. Cortisol provides adrenaline and mobilizes energy. Oxytocin is less known and understood. It opens us up to social connection and seek out the support of others. It is a chemical of courage that helps us to rise above our fears. The release of these two chemicals causes us to perform better, to enhance our concentration and wakes up your senses. These chemicals are a built in mechanism to support us in times of stress. How we use these hormones will determine our result and will change the levels of each in our system.kellymcgonigalheadshotweb

Three Steps In Transforming Stress

Kelly McGonigal outlines three steps in the produce to reduce stress and transform it: Acknowledge it, welcome it and use the energy to your advantage. There was a time when we believed the world was flat and it severely limited our outlook. You may have had beliefs when you were young that kept you from living your life to its fullest. It is time to change what you believe about stress. It is time to see the Upside of Stress and how this can truly change the way you live your life and the results you get in life. The choice is yours.

Click to get your copy of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It