Curious

A psychologist explains the most important factor in reducing stress and living a healthy life

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

It’s really hard to figure out how best to deal with stress.

Or is it?

Well, as it turns, there’s one proven strategy that can help you deal with stress much more effectively…and it has nothing to do with meditation or yoga.

In fact, professional psychologist Kelly McGonigal says that it’s so simple that it goes against almost everything we’ve ever been taught about stress.

So, what is this magical technique?

Kelly McGonigal recently came across a study that made her rethink her whole approach to stress. The study tracked 30,000 adults for 8 years and found that those who have experienced a lot of stress in the previous year had a 43 percent increased risk of dying.

The catch?

That was only true for people who also believed stress was harmful to their health.

People who experienced stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die.

In fact, they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone.

What does this mean?

By simply changing how you think about stress, it can make you healthier.

Kelly McGonigal says that when we encounter stress, we usually believe this means that we’re not coping very well.

But what if we instead viewed stress as signs that your body is getting energized to prepare you to meet whatever challenges you encounter in life?

According to several research studies that Kelly McGonigal points out, you’ll start responding to stress in a much more healthy fashion.

In other words, you no longer need to get rid of stress. You just need to get better at stress. You need to view stress as a friend that’s there to help you, rather than hurt you.

Another factor that Kelly McGonigal says is important is spending time helping others.

A study found out that those who spend more time helping out friends, neighbours, and people in the community tended to respond to stress in a much more effective way.

Watch the brilliant TED talk from Kelly McGonigal to find out:

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