What is Stress Doing to You?

by AffirmingSpirit on September 14, 2013

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If you’ve been paying attention to health media over the past 20 years, no doubt you’ve heard the message that “Stress Kills” – it weakens the immune system and is the common denominator in all disease. Lots is being done to help us relieve stress, but here’s a solution you probably never considered…

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing Shawn Achor of GoodThinkInc.com speaking about The Happiness Advantage. If you haven’t seen Shawn’s hilarious TEDx talk from 2011, take a few minutes to watch it…you’ll laugh and likely relieve some stress, too:

When we choose to feel happier, there are many beneficial results: Our brains are flooded with happiness hormones (like Dopamine and Serotonin, and the hormones they control), we are more relaxed, and more likely to make better decisions.

What does this have to do with stress? Visiting Achor’s site after the webinar, I stumbled across a mention of a study that showed when people were taught to view stress as a “good thing”, it changed how their bodies responded to stress! Yes, something as simple as reframing ‘stress’ into a positive experience, one we would want to look for and appreciate, was enough to cause some people to truly thrive.

In perfect timing, psychologist Kelly McGonigal had more to say about this phenomenon recently, also via TED:

So, it turns out that what stress is doing to you has more to do with how you VIEW stress than the actual source or experience of stress! If you look for ways to find that stress is beneficial and helpful in your life, then you will become more resilient and better able to manage stress. Does this finding surprise you?

From a Law of Attraction point of view, your beliefs control how you experience the world—or more accurately, how the world is mirrored back to you to support your existing beliefs about the world.

Take a moment to ask yourself how you might be able to view stress differently, and share your thoughts below.

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