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Video: Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

Click to watch video: Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

This video was forwarded to us by someone we are working with in our clinics (thank you – you know who you are!).

During a conference talk, Kelly McGonigal talks to us about the stress response and challenges us to see the response as a positive physiological response that increases courage and our ability to face a challenge, rather than a ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’ response that does our health ‘damage’. It also highlights a physiological reason for giving and receiving care and support from people around us, and the protective impact this has our long-term health.

At Vitality360, we see the stress response as a normal response to a threat: our body simply ‘doing its thing’ and helping to prepare us for taking action. Nothing to fear, quite understood and understandable, and in many ways there to take care of us when we are in a challenging situation. However, we’ve enjoyed Kelly’s take on this, and agree that the experience of ‘courage’ or ‘joy’ might feel very similar to ‘stress’, and find the protective link between ‘seeking help from others’ and ‘improved resilience to stress’ very interesting and worth looking into further.

So, next time your heart is pounding or you are feeling tense and low, you can say to yourself ‘that’s my body telling me to be courageous, and helping me to overcome this challenge.” The stress response, by also releasing oxytocin, is also ‘asking you’ to call a friend and allow people to help, so be brave: let them in.