Got Stress? Good!

Got stress? Of course you do. We all do. Look no further than what America just went through in the 2016 election. No matter your political affiliation, this election has stressed most of our outlook for the country, and also many close personal relationships.

The truth is we need stress. We need to be able to “fight-or-flee” in the face of stressful situations – situations where our well-being is at stake.

The problem is the stress response – our bodies physiological response to stress – is triggered easily and often by the demands and pace of modern day life. One of the most common stressors that all people share is financial stress, from poverty on one end, to worries about paying for your children’s (or our own) college bill. And once you get out of college, getting that job. And once you get that job or starting your own company, paying taxes. (Here is a good overview of enneagram type specific reactions to financial stress.)

And the effects of chronic stress can be quite damaging to our health.

Fortunately, new research is showing there is a fix: change the way you think about stress. It turns out making the choice to view stress as helpful allows us to reap the benefits of stress while suffering fewer consequences.

Social psychologist Kelly McGonigal explains it far better than I could in her outstanding TED Talk: How to make stress your friend.

Got stress? Watch now: