For years I’ve been thinking of stress as something bad and something that should be avoided if possible. Then I learned that depending on the situation it can be both good and bad. But one day I heard something that made me reconsider my view on stress completely. I got a whole new perspective on stress.
On the bad side
We have all heard about the negative aspects of stress. It seems like a lot of people today are feeling stressed out and more and more people get burned out.
The health effects are many: heart problems, obesity, headaches, depression, anxiety, accelerated ageing and premature death are a few that often are mentioned.
If you live with stress for a longer time or if it happens too often, we can see these negative effects. You can experience headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, a weakened immune system and you might have trouble sleeping. You could be moody, tense or even depressed. In the long run it might affect your relationships and work.
On the good side
Stress can also be good – when you have it in proper amounts. When you are stressed you are more focused and get more done. If you have a time limit you suddenly have to prioritize. You can work harder or react more quickly. This is good during shorter periods – it’s when the stress continues that it starts to have a negative effects on you and your body.
Then I saw a TED talk that made me think again. Is stress really good or bad? Or is it just the perspective? How we view it? Is stress dangerous if we think it is, but not if we don’t think it is? How much does our mind influence us? You must see this interesting talk made by Kelly McGonigal. She is a health psychologist and she really made me question my own opinion…