Point of View


Point of View

Losing Our War on Stress: It’s time to reconsider our approach

By Ryan Howes

January/February 2016


As a society, we often appear to be waging a war on stress. We now have everything from de-stressing massage and anti-stress skin cream to stress-free banking and anti-stress coloring books. An enormous amount of medical and psychological research is focused on combating stress as a way to boost mood and lengthen life expectancy. But despite all that effort, stress keeps resisting our endeavors to bust it. Some even question whether reducing stress is always a good thing. Enter Stanford University’s Kelly McGonigal, author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You and How to Get Good at It, to challenge our one-sided view of stress. Her premise: “Whether you think stress is good or bad for you, you’re right.”

Drawing on research in resilience, cognitive psychology, attachment, and neuroscience, McGonigal insists we have a choice to view stressful situations as being invariably toxic or as opportunities to face a healthy challenge. According to her, it’s our misunderstanding of our relationship with stress that’s the problem, not the stress itself.

-----

RH: How did you become interested in stress in the first place?

MCGONIGAL: When you’re a health psychologist, you’re taught that stress is the number-one problem that human beings experience: it’s blamed for everything. So when I started leading stress-management classes at the Stanford School of Medicine, I based them on the prevailing belief…

Already have an account linked to your magazine subscription? Log in now to continue reading this article.

(Need help? Click here or contact us to ask a question.)

Not currently a subscriber? Subscribe Today to read the rest of this article!



Previous: Case Study
Next: Bookmarks

Read 2699 times
Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
*