October 29, 2015

Is Stress Hurting You? Or What You Think About Stress?

One area of expertise common to most CBT psychologists is stress management.  A new study sheds light on one cognitive aspect of stress.  Standford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests that what we believe about stress, and how we respond to stress, predicts how harmful it is to our health  Signs of stress, such as elevated heart rate, sweating, muscle tension, and throat constriction is a sign of our body's strength, our body's way of mounting a defense against the worrisome event, our body's campaign to succeed in the face of something scary.  When we are taught to see stress as a good thing?  The risk of harm caused by stress goes way down, perhaps disappears.

So the next time you're studying for that test and are freaking out because you waited too long?  Feel that adrenaline pumping through your body and believe that it's there to help you study better, remember more, and ultimately pass the class.

Watch Dr. McGonigal talk about letting stress be our friend, HERE.

Sandy Andrews, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist who practices CBT in Austin, Texas
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