National Stress Awareness Day


I want to start by saying that stress is normal. It is a healthy human response that the majority of us experience on different occasions. For instance, we might experience stress when we think we forgot to lock the house or when we completely forget about a due date. Perhaps being in a stressful situation might not feel too good, but it is not always a bad thing. When you go through stress, it leaves an imprint on your brain so that the next time you face a similar situation, you will know how to respond.


It’s quite interesting to see how our brain is constantly protecting us from our surroundings and it is always good to practice healthy coping skills when it comes to dealing with stress. This is why the International Stress Management Association has chosen November 3rd to do their part in providing the public with healthy coping skills that lessen the impact of stress.


As previously mentioned, stress is not always the villain. Instead of seeing stress as the ‘enemy’, we can make an attempt to see it from a new perspective. Kelly McGonigal, a business school lecturer at Stanford explains, “Stress isn’t always harmful. Once you appreciate that going through stress makes you better at it, it can be easier to face each new challenge.”

Research done by Professor Alia Crum, demonstrates that seeing stress as a natural part of life instead of being harmful, is related to better emotional well-being, productivity, and health. When you view stress as something so terrifyingly damaging, it leads individuals to cope with the stress in a nonproductive way. Some may deal with it by procrastinating, others by avoiding stressful situations, or thinking of the worst-case scenario.


There are a couple of things that we can do to develop a new perspective on stress. First, we can view stress as something helpful and not as something that makes us weak. For example, when you feel your heart rate increase, you can think of it as your body producing the necessary energy to get the task done. Another way we might be able to look at stress is to view it as something that results in personal growth. The more you are exposed to that stressor, the better you will react the next time. Lastly, you can view it as something that everyone goes through. We all go through difficult times in our lives and knowing that we aren't the only ones, lets us know that it is a common and healthy human response.


Works Cited

Parker, Clifton. “Embracing Stress Is More Important than Reducing Stress,

Stanford Psychologist Says.” Stanford News, 7 May 2015,

https://news.stanford.edu/2015/05/07/stress-embrace-mcgonigal-050715/.

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