There’s a good side to stress

There’s a good side to stress

Happiness is not about living without stress. There’s no such thing as a life without stress.

Rather, happiness is about learning when stress is good; and managing stress when it’s bad. And here’s how you can do it…

via TED Ideas by Kelly McGonigal

What does it mean to be “good” at stress? Does it mean you don’t get stressed out? That you stay calm under pressure and bounce back from adversity?

Actually, no. The truth of stress as I’ve researched it shows two important things. Firstly, that trying to avoid it is fundamentally counterproductive. Secondly, that thinking that we can emerge from stressful circumstances unscathed and unchanged is precisely the wrong way of thinking about things.

Instead, we need to start thinking about how to have the courage to grow from stress. This view of resilience was first described by the psychologist Salvatore Maddi, who founded the Hardiness Research Lab at the University of California Irvine. He dedicated his career to identifying what distinguishes people who thrive under stress from those who are defeated by it. The ones who thrive, he concluded, are those who view stress as inevitable, and rather than try to avoid it, they look for ways to engage with it, adapt to it, and learn from it.

The idea that we grow through adversity is not new. It’s present in the teachings of every major religion and many philosophies. It’s even become a cliché to say, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But what is new is how psychology and neuroscience have begun to examine this truism. Research is beginning to reveal not only why stress helps us learn and grow, but also what makes some people more likely to experience these benefits.

One of the more recent insights from this science is that the ability to learn from stress is built into the basic biology of the stress response. Of course, you know that the stress response gives you energy by flooding your body with adrenaline. But the stress response doesn’t end when your heart stops pounding. Other stress hormones are released to help you recover from the challenge…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE