Stress – we all know the feeling. Your wife calls you into the kitchen because you two need to “talk”. Your heartbeat accelerates, your breath picks up speed and the perspiration begins. Worry, anxiety, fear. Your eyes dart around the room – what did you forget? Is her hair done? Did you forget to unload the dishwasher again?
The average man faces daily stresses from every angle. Be tough, strong, keep your emotions in, provide, spend time with your family, never miss a boys night and whatever you do – don’t mess-up.
Articles and warnings about the dangers of stress are everywhere. We know that stress can cause a million different premature deaths but does knowing that help us? No, it doesn’t.
That’s why Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk grabbed our attention. Kelly talks about a study that was done in the US tracking 30, 000 adults. The participants were asked two questions:
1) How much stress have you experienced in the past year?
2) Do you think stress is bad for your health?
Turns out those people with a high amount of stress in their life and who also believed stress was harmful to their health, had the highest amounts of fatalities – a 43% increase in a risk of death. Those who had a lot of stress in their life but did not feel that stress was bad for their health were among the longest living of all the groups – including those with relatively low stress in their lives.
According to Kelly, when in stress, relax, your body isn’t getting ready for cardiac arrest – it’s preparing for war. It’s pumping oxygen to your brain, it’s releasing oxytocin, it’s sharpening your senses. Kelly states, “Stress is the biology of courage”.
Watch Kelly’s video and make up your own mind – can you feel the power in stress?
If you want to learn more about mental health, check out the Guy’s Guide to Mental Health.