Kelly McGonigal shows us that what we think about stress influences our health more than how much stress we really experience. “How you think about stress matters.” The physical responses that your body experiences when facing stressful situations are confirmations that you have to give extra energy and attention to the situation – that’s it. Then, your mind is taking over. Your mind is deciding how threatening or how challenging the situation really is.
This is where and when your mind makes the difference between health and sickness.
Your body already told you that the situation was exceptional: no value (good or bad) associated to it – just exceptional. If your mind really has a choice between threat and challenge, and that perceiving it as challenge gives you the best resilience, is it still a choice?
TRAIN your mind.
Train it to think systematically of stressors as challenges and not as threats. Stress is your friend – not your enemy. Stress prepares you. Stress does not limit you. Embrace it and strive.
TELL your friends how you feel.
Tell them your situation: they do not read your mind. Tell them about your feelings: everyone responds differently to situations. Tell them what you need: everyone has different existing resources. Tell them what they can do for you and accept their limitations as well.
REACH OUT to your friends.
Use the same questions to help your friends: what is your situation? How do you feel about it? What do you need? What can I do to help?
Everyone faces stress and challenges. You do not have to face them alone and you do not want anyone around you to face them alone. What a fantastic lesson learned from stress!
Psychology and Public Speaking Instructor