Looking at stress from a different perspective

Who doesn’t get stressed out!  Maybe not such an issue?

I have in my bookshelf a book called The Anxiety Epidemic.  On the back cover it explains this:

The Pain & Stress Center was founded in 1979, but the dream started long before that.  The goal is to help individuals realize their true potential and to support and conduct research in the areas of man’s greatest needs – natural alternatives.

I had seen the book in a second-hand bookshop and paid $1.99 for it!

Clearly I have some interest in the topic and like many others around me know that certain situations cause me stress.

Thus when recently there was a TED talk on the topic of ‘How to make stress your friend’ it seemed like a worthwhile thing to watch.  I was not wrong!

Published on Sep 4, 2013

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

It was an easy matter to find Kelly McGonigal’s website and discover a mine of advice and other good stuff.  For example, this:

Watch: How to Think Like a Psychologist

My fall 2011 Stanford University course “How to Think Like a Psychologist” is now available as a series of free, downloadable videos through iTunes university.

In this fun course, I invited my favorite psychology and neuroscience researchers at Stanford to talk about their work and what it means for everyday life and real-world problems. Each class starts with a 45-min lecture by the guest speaker, followed by about 30 minutes of Q&A from myself and course participants. I had a great time grilling these amazing scientists about everything from politics to education, parenting, shopping, and the scientific process. You’ll even hear a few personal stories they’ve never shared in public before!

Then there was this:

Learn: Mindfulness of Breathing.

I’m frequently asked questions about how to get started meditating, what is the best meditation for beginners, what is the best meditation for reducing stress (or training willpower, or cultivating self-compassion, or developing focus, etc.). Below is my favorite meditation for all these intentions.

You can listen to (or download) a version of these instructions and a 15-min guided practice here.

Mindfulness of Breathing

The intention of this practice is to turn your attention to the breath, notice when the mind wanders, and bring your attention back to the breath.

This meditation cultivates self-awareness, mindfulness, and the ability to make conscious choices about what you are doing. It also is good practice in not following every impulse or habit.

There are a few different ways to focus on the breath; choose the one that feels right to you.

There’s more to read here.

Of course, I couldn’t sign off without offering yet another thing to learn from dogs- relaxation.

Cleo dealing with stress!
Cleo dealing with stress!

So have a great week ahead: With or without stress!

2 thoughts on “Looking at stress from a different perspective

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