Today’s Solutions: October 01, 2023

While we frantically try to avoid and suppress stress, researchers are showing more and more that stress can also be good for us. It ensures better performance, keeps us sharp and is also good for our health. In the summer issue of The Optimist we go deeply into the subject of stress.
Stress being bad for you is an old adage. It is often indicated as the main cause of all sorts of deaths (heart and circulatory diseases, high blood pressure), psychological problems (burn-out, depression), and loss of productivity on the work floor. But increasing amounts of research indicate that stress can also be good for us, and what’s not good for us is always stressing about stress.
Kelly McGonigal, psychologist and lecturer at the University of Stanford, recently started thinking very differently about stress. ‘For years I’ve told people: stress makes you sick. It increases your risk for everything from the common cold to serious heart and cardiovascular diseases,’she said last year at a TED-talk seen below. ‘However,’she goes on, ‘I’ve changed my mind.’Her message: research shows that your body can deal with stress in a healthy and natural way, as long as you stop worrying about stress.  More than 5.6 million people watched the video of her presentation, and her position led to much discussion. Is McGonical right? The Intelligent Optimist dug into the matter: take a look at the video with McGonical and read more in our new summer edition, which contains, among other articles the following ones:
–    An interview with stress-searcher Whitney Witt: ‘If our body reacts to a threatening situation it’s important not to get into that vicious cycle by saying that stress is so bad. Stress is normal!’
–     Theo Compernolle talks about why we should stop multitasking so we can deal with stress better (Theo Compernolle will also be teaching a course on stress, follow the link to learn more:
–    Five situations where stress is good for you
–    How you can learn to use stress to perform better
–    Which type of stress is good for you and which type isn’t

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