How To Make Stress Your Friend
Last night we were listening to some TedTalks on the way home and this one stood out as one to share, as it not only is a topic that affects so many people, but it also points to two of the things I wrote about on the subject of stress that are now backed by studies.
Don’t you just love how science catches up with spirituality more and more? 😉
Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist who shifted her own perspective of how she was treating her patients and how she herself was viewing stress, when she discovered that what she was teaching over the last 10 years was doing more harm than good, which basically was “turning stress into the enemy”. After researching the studies, she rethought her whole approach, as the studies proved that a person’s belief about stress was the culprit to decreased health and even mortality, rather than stress itself.
Kelly now urges people to see stress as positive and to realize that it also makes you social.
These are my favorite statements she shares:
“How you think and act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. When you choose to connect with others under stress you can create resilience.
Now I wouldn’t necessarily ask for more stress in my life, but you can see it as another access to your compassionate heart and to your pounding physical heart to give you strength and energy. You can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges and remember you don’t have to face them alone.”
No matter what it is, whether stress, how you feel about yourself, or any part of your life, beliefs will play an important role in repatterning. It’s not the only piece to the puzzle, but shifting perspectives is a huge key to revealing more ease, more answers, and providing more empowerment instantly.
Of course there are other parts to this that play a role and different ways to help yourself process the stress, including the importance of balance, not purposely taking on a crazy amount of things thinking that you’re invincible, nor taking on things out of unhealthy reasons like guilt, victimization, self-sacrifice, self-sabotage, or martyrdom, for instance.
Yet what Kelly shares can begin a new inner dialogue of holistic support that will help to promote reduction in unhealthy stress perceptions that will lead you to healthier perceptions and increased connection, which ultimately puts you on the track to overall well-being.
When you become aware of something, you take back your power to be the “whole” person that you are and realize the perfection inherent in the bigger picture.
Here are pieces of my own insights on the perception of stress working “for” me and the importance of it leading me to connect with others in my post, Stress, Overwhelment, Anxiety…Spirituality Isn’t An Immunity Pass, But Does Seed You With The Alchemy Of Awareness To Shift It, which echo Kelly’s thoughts from the studies:
Remember, life challenges are the ones we choose and are there to support the transformational evolvement that we knew would assist us in being that which we are and always were behind the illusions and fluff. Varying degrees of stress are not bad, but our perspective and approach can shift them into being the natural parts of human experience that they are.
You are a luminous being seeking to know and express yourself and sometimes the rate of expansion you go through can be overwhelming at times. The key is to make a conscious choice to perceive the reality before you as a perfect set of divine experiences working FOR your highest good, not AGAINST it….
In my own journey of learning how to move through stress, I also learned it was helpful for me to have a heart-to-heart with those near and dear to me to share with them what my protocol is when I get stressed and that it isn’t personal. I also shared with them the things that I feel and how that makes me act, as well as shared the things in that moment that would be helpful for me and asked if they were willing to assist me with the process. Things like not reacting to the momentary stress I am blowing out of proportion, just listening to me, helping me to stop and encourage taking a different approach, etc. That coupled with the things I was putting into practice, all would help me to be able to shift my process and speed up the time in which I could do it.
While it is up to us to make the changes, we aren’t islands unto ourselves. Remember that your stress is also felt and experienced by everyone around you and there’s no reason you can’t ask help from your loved ones for some of the supportive ingredients that can assist you. Chances are, they would love to help out, as they don’t want to see you stressed and they don’t want to react in ways that they feel bad about, or that add to your stress. And when you engage them in your process, they will also learn more about their own, feel more open to sharing things they go through and how you might support them, and in totality a closer connection and depth to your relationship is created.
Posted on December 26, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged anxiety, being your natural self, creating balance in your life, dealing with overwhelment, Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend, managing stress, things that help relieve stress. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.