Making Stress Your Friend [TED Talk]

Kelly McGonigal presents interesting ideas about stress and how you can actually use your stress to increase your health and improve your relationships.

What I appreciate about this talk is the reminder to look not just at your levels of stress, but at your relationship to stress.

Are you stressed about your stress? Do you beat yourself up for being stressed all the time?

It’s important to be aware of your thoughts (and underlying beliefs) and what they say about you and your relationship to stress.

It can be helpful to pause in moments of stress to simply acknowledge that you’re stressed. Feel the physiological responses taking place in your body. Feel your heart beat. Feel your breath. Notice what this stress feels like.

As you build the habit of doing this, stress becomes an automatic trigger that brings you to the present moment and makes you better equipped to deal with the moment. You can build this habit by pausing for a few minutes each day to simply feel your breath. Try it right now. What does it feel like to breathe?