In her TED Talk “How to make stress your friend”, Kelly McGonigal firmly illustrated the idea that stress itself is not harmful, yet the belief of its harm is what does damage. McGonigal gives many examples of studies that have been done in America, showing that people who believed stress had a negative affect were more likely to die sooner. People who were under a lot of stress but did not believe stress was always a bad thing had better results. She describes that if people were to think of stress as a positive, helpful thing, many lives could be saved.
Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk “How to make stress your friend” correctly emphasizes the concept that stress can be beneficial if a person looks at it with a positive view, because the fear of stress is more harmful than stress itself. Almost everyone experiences stress throughout their life, and it can have a much worse effect on some people than others. Stress causes the heart to beat faster, and certain hormones to be released, but if a person views this as a good thing, that stress will benefit them. Many people view stress like this:
Stress is stereotyped to lead to so many negative things that people become afraid of it and try to avoid it at all costs. Really, it is that fear that leads to the negative results. Turning that fear into acceptance of stress can improve a person’s health, and even lifespan. McGonigal says to view your heart pumping and body reacting as it’s way of helping you rise to this challenge. When under stress, the body also releases oxytocin, a hormone that actually strengthens the heart. Although, when someone believes that stress is bad for them, they will not feel like they are benefitted at all. A positive view can change so many things in life. The world often seems like stress is around every corner, just waiting for its next victim. If this message is spread around, people could be much happier overall. Lives could be saved from learning to believe that stress is not always bad, and it could change the world. Students often feel like their stress load looks like this:
It can become overwhelming, and students are not taught that stress is a good thing. They are taught that stress is one of the worst feelings there is. I personally know the feeling of that immense amount of stress. Being an honor student is rigorous work sometimes, and McGonigal’s point has really shifted how I view stress. Had I thought about it like this before, many stressful situations could have been avoided. The way McGonigal passionately talked about stress impacted me, and really made me curious. I payed close attention to her examples, and her small jokes kept the audience engaged. It gave me ideas as to how to interact with the audience in my own TED Talk, and how to voice my opinion strongly. I believe that McGonigal’s idea should be spread around the world, especially to educators. It could greatly impact students and help them enjoy school more. Stress is only something humans need to overcome; if that can be done, the world can transform.
Lucci, Dorote. "Download Information About Stress Through Poetry, Painting and Innovation?" The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 Nov. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dorote-lucci/download-information-abou_b_6084120.html>.
Ranni, James. "Causes and Consequences of Student Stress." - KNILT. Knowledge Network by and for Educators, 10 May 2009. Web. 26 Apr. 2015. <http://tccl.rit.albany.edu/knilt/index.php/Causes_and_Consequences_of_Student_Stress>.