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Don't believe everything you hear about stress!
December 21, 2017
When it feels like there are a million things to do, stress can feel paralysing. We appreciate that some stress keeps us at the top of our game by focusing on a deadline rather than our social media however, too much stress and we think we will crack unable to deal with the job at hand together with life's pressures. For years we have heard people saying stress makes you sick it increases the risk of everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. And we all know how hard it is to admit especially to an employer we are suffering from stress for fear of seen as not coping with the volume or intensity of work.
Good employers invest quite a lot, these days, in ways to help workers bust their stress – on site massage, yoga, meditation or a gym in the workplace or free biscuits being another .
Basically, we have all turned stress into the enemy – but Kelly McGonigal from TED talks shares a different view - one which could just possibly change everyone's minds! McGonigal a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University talks about a Harvard study which tracked 30,000 people over eight years.
Asking people, “how much stress have you experienced in the last year?”’ The doctors also probed whether participants believed that stress was bad for their health – and then looked at the records to see who died. ‘People who experienced a lot of stress in the previous year had a 43 per cent increased risk of dying. But,’ McGonigal continues, ‘that was ONLY true for the people who also believed stress was also harmful for your health. People who experienced a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die – in fact, they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study, including people who had very little stress.’ Which, as she points out, makes ‘BELIEVING that stress is bad for you’ get into the 15th largest cause of death, killing more people than skin cancer, HIV Aids and homicide…’
This inspiring new research shows that stress may only negatively affect your health if you believe it will. Learn strategies for stress reduction by re-framing how you view stress — turning it from a negative into a positive and using it to build resilience and connection to others. Listen the the whole talk to make up your own mind.