Stress is believed to be one of the biggest factors that seem to slow people down when they feel overwhelmed. “Usually we think that stress is dangerous to our health and that it gives us anxiety and other things that slow us down on a work basis,” says Josh Peace, Managing Director of Open Advertising. In a Ted Talks video, psychologist Kelly McGonigal talks about how she’s believed and told her patients that stress is bad for your health. She was an ultimate believer in the fact that stress is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, it’s bad for your health and can lead to other horrific health factors in the future if it’s not controlled. However, McGonigal says, “For years I been telling people stress makes you sick. It increases everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. I’ve turned stress into the enemy. But I have changed my mind about stress, and today I am going to change yours.”
According to Kelly McGonigal, a study was done that made her rethink her whole approach to stress. It was conducted with 30,000 adults in the USA over eight years. The researchers asked these adults “How much stress have you dealt with in the past year?” They also asked, “Do you believe that stress is harmful to your health.” Then they used public medical records to find out who died from these 30,000 adults after they were asked. People who experienced a lot of stress had a 43% risk of dying, but it was only true to those that believed stress is harmful to your health. People who experienced stress but did not think it was harmful, were no more likely to die. They had the lowest risk of dying in anyone in the study. Of this 30,000, 180,000 of them died, not from stress — but the belief that stress is harmful. “Being in the fast-paced business industry, we’re always experiencing stress. But from the research done in this study, it’s evident that stress is something that everyone experiences, but what we do with it is up to us to secure our future,” says Josh Peace of Open Advertising.
According to McGonigal, stress makes you social as well. This goes on to her explaining a hormone that plays a huge role in this factor (Oxytocin). This hormone, fine tunes your brain’s social instincts. It makes you crave human contact, and it makes you close to those around you because your empathy is increased. It makes you more compassionate and caring essentially. This important because it is unleashed through a stress response. It motivates you to seek support. “If you ever wonder, stress is stress until you open up to someone and talk about what’s going on. Once you do, you feel better,” says Josh Peace of Open Advertising. This is important because once you realize that stress is your friend, you’ll be able to tame it better. “Rather than believing that you need to fix it because it’s harmful to your health. Make it you friend and understand that it can be very beneficial to push you in various directions,” notes Josh Peace of Open Advertising.