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Inner Game

How to Make Stress Your Friend

smileyStress can literally kill you.

In fact, this voracious murderer claims the lives of over 1 million people every year.

And stress can increase your risk of dying from heart-related issues five-fold.

Simply stated, stress is bad…

Or is it?

Now, the facts may sound scary (and they are), and I realize I’m not exactly being “warm and fuzzy” here, but hang with me…

I promise I’m not all doom and gloom, and neither is renowned Health Psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, whose video I am sharing today.

We’re bringing this to your attention, dear Mogul, because if there’s one thing we all share in common, it’s stress.

Maybe you’ve only experienced small stressors in life so far (and if that’s the case, then you better knock, knock, knock on wood), but many of us have been to hell and back more times than we care to remember.

Either way, Kelly’s words might change your opinion about stress, and how you deal with it. And her fascinating message might just add a few more years to your life.  

dessertsStress: It’s All About Perception

If you could change your mindset to alter how stress affects your body (and ultimately your mortality), wouldn’t you?

What if you could view stress as a state of preparedness, rather than a state of mental and physical collapse?

Maybe you could look at stress as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle?

Well, the truth is you can see stress as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle.

And you can view stress not as a negative reaction but as a positive response, to prepare your body and your mind for what’s to come.

By changing how you view stress, you can literally change your body’s perceived negative response into a healthy one, which will minimize your risk of stress-related illness and death.

Human Connection is the Key

Stress, along with a little neurohormone called oxytocin, makes you crave physical contact. It pushes you to seek support, to talk about your stress, to literally begin to heal from the inside out, and to ultimately decrease anxiety’s otherwise deadly effects.

To cope with stress is to find a new appreciation for stress. Connecting with others and finding reward in helping others is the key. 

And this is where Kelly McGonigal deserves to have the spotlight for a few minutes, because she can explain it much better than I can type it.  So do yourself (and your family) a favor, and lend Kelly your ear.

Kelly McGonigal explains how to make stress your friend …

Bring it on, Stress!

Of course, wishing for more stress isn’t the answer…

…but the next time you’re faced with stress, I challenge each of you to say “game on!” and “I’ve got this!”

You don’t want to get rid of stress; you just need to get better at using it as a powerful tool in your life. 


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Understand – Understand that stress does not need to be a negative and unhealthy influence on your physical and mental health.

Appreciate – Appreciate the scientifically proven fact that stress is only unhealthy for people who embrace preconceived notions of its unhealthiness (ie. “a self-fulfilling prophecy”).

Change – Change your body’s unhealthy responses to stress by changing your mind to consider stress as a helpful ally throughout life’s challenging pursuits.

Connect – Prioritize selfless human connections during times of stress, in order to maximize its potential as a catalyst for general health and well-being.

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