Monday, October 18, 2021

Why Stress Can be Good for You


Got stress?

If you're like most of the human race, the answer is "yes."

But is stress such a bad thing? There's been a lot of discussion about how many people are quitting their jobs after having time to reflect during the pandemic lockdown. They decided that they were tired of the stress of their jobs, and wanted something different.

Still, according to research by Alia Crum, an assistant professor at Stanford University, stress doesn't have to always be debilitating. For example, you might be stressed before a big presentation at work or an important meeting, but is that really a threat? Or, can it be "appraised" by you as something that's difficult, but you have the resources to overcome?

Stress, she explains, is complex. Some people simplify it and see it as something that can make you sick. But if you challenge your assumptions, you may start to see that stress can be "enhancing," she says.

Specifically, stress can boost your cognitive functioning, physical health and how you interact with others.

"Stress can help you rise to a new level of understanding, can deepen your connection to others, can make us physiologically grow tougher and stronger," she says. "Having that focus shifts our attention and behaviors in ways that make that mindset more true." 

Instead of viewing stress as something that is going to adversely affect you, open your mind to the idea that stress should be welcomed because it can add value. 

"Inherently underneath the stress is a true value, a true care, a true purpose. And we wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for something that mattered. And we wouldn't be stressed about it if it wasn't for something that mattered," she says.

To learn more about Crum's take on stress, check out more here.

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