Making stress your friend

Over the past ten years, Mindapples has delivered a LOT of workshops on how to deal with stress. In all those workshops, we’ve found one of the most important myths to debunk is the idea that a little bit of stress is good for you. Instead, we prefer the term “pressure”, to describe the effect of deadlines and challenges on getting us motivated and helping us focus, and we use “stress” in the medical and legal sense: the point where the pressure gets too much and harms your health and performance.

For a completely different perspective on stress, though, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s recent TED talk argues we need to change how we view stress.

Although stress is bad for our health in the long term, recent research seems to suggest that worrying about stress is even worse. If we can change our mindset about stress and see it as a natural part of life, we may find it easier to handle it, and even live longer.

Of course, no-one is arguing that stress is a positive thing, but mindset seems to matter. If you can’t avoid stress, then at the very least try not to get stressed about feeling stressed.

See what you think. Watch Kelly’s talk here.

Learn more about your mind in our illustrated guides, The Mind Manual and A Mind for Business, published by Hamlyn Press and Pearson/FT.