definition of challenge as opposed to stress

Stress and Its Relationship to Courage & Resilience

Do you believe that stress is harmful to your health?

I have always been taught that this was the case. But, Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist reveals some very interesting findings in the TED talk I will post below. I’ll jot some highlights down in case you don’t want to take the time to watch it.

In a study that tracked 30,000 U.S. adults over 8 years it was found that people that had high stress AND believed that stress was harmful for their health had a 43% risk of dying. On the flip side, people that had high stress and believed that it was not harmful for them had a lower risk of dying – even lower than those who had very little stress. Crazy!

In the post-talk interview, Kelly says, “Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort.” And she gives the advice to,

“Go after what it is that creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the discomfort that follows.”

The bottom line is, your belief about stress can make a difference in your life expectancy!