I was privileged to attend The Art of Leadership for Women Conference where I heard an inspiring talk by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist who spoke on how to embrace stress. She discussed how we are programmed to believe stress is negative and harmful to our health. Reversing this belief and convincing ourselves that stress should be embraced, allows us to be more productive and create greater social connections.
On the surface, it sounds farfetched, however, the research challenges you to rethink how you respond to stress. We can train ourselves to have a positive biological response, created by the stress hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin protects the cardiovascular system, healing heart from stress-induced damage and strengthening it. It also motivates individuals to seek social support, creating a healthier stress response and a faster recovery from stress.
Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk can be found here: http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?language=en