Is Stress a Good Thing?

I watched a TED talk from Kelly McGonigal called “Making Stress Your Friend.” I didn’t really believe the study she brought up. I believe one of the statistics was if one of the participants believed stress was bad for their health and was moderately to severely stressed, then they had an increased 43% of dying the next year. I believe a survey size of 30,000 is not large enough to be preaching numbers like this.

Then she talked about what out body does to react to stress. The body releases oxytocin which is also called the “cuddle hormone.” The heart contracts blood vessels while stressed. When your stressed, you begin to breath quicker and your heart pumps harder. This is why stress is linked to cardiovascular disease.

This seems like a lot of doom and gloom. However, it can all change if you think of stress as a good think. McGonigal said if you view stress positively, you won’t have compressed blood vessels and your heart will continue to beat harder which is good for cardiovascular health. Stress also helps to you to reach out to people you care about and seek support which is caused when oxytocin is released. Oxytocin helps with stress resilience and helps heart cells regenerate. She even said snorting oxytocin would be great for everyone.

I think this a great video to show someone who is in the middle of a slump. It’s inspiring and its supported with science. I wouldn’t believe everything she said about the studies but everything else seemed pretty legit to me.

I already implement this into my life. I played sports all my life and always got burst of energy when the enemy team or crowd was booing or talking smack. I take it as a challenge and I always seemed to play better when my back was against the wall or there was money on the line.

Pressure makes me perform better. That’s probably why I’ve always been an extreme procrastinator.

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