In her TED Talk Making Stress your Friend, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests how we can reframe our relationship with stress. “When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress.” She believes “stress gives us a deeper connection to our hearts.” And she even goes so far to say that you can live longer if you practice how to stop demonizing stress and appreciate the stress response and its benefits such as oxytocin which helps heart cells become strengthened by releasing more of this hormone.
She talks about how caring for others helps you alleviate stress. What a great message for the holidays! She talks about connecting with others under stress to create resilience. She looks at the science of stress and explains when you are in a stressful situation which causes your heart rate to increase, your body’s response looks similar to what courage and joy look like.
- She asks us to recognize the physical reaction we’re having to the situation, whether that’s your pounding heart, sweaty palms, or faster breathing
2. And then, Instead of telling yourself these are signs that you aren’t dealing with the situation well, tell yourself they are signs that your body is energized and preparing you to meet the challenge ahead.
According to McGonigal, when we reframe stress in this way, the effects on our body stop being harmful and start to look a lot like what we experience during moments of joy and courage.
Listen to this 15 McGonigal Ted Talk and share it with your loved ones. It’s truly a gift for us all.