Stressis the body’s physical response to what the mind interprets as a threat,causing the body to release Cortisol and Adrenaline.
If we lived in the timesof our ancient ancestors, this response would be warranted; initiating thisreaction in dire fight-or-flight situations, to save itself from harm. But intoday’s society, being affected by the lungs pumping oxygen into the bloodstream at an accelerated rate, triggering the heart to beat faster and the bloodpressure to rise; delivering energy to escape something that albeit a threat toour way of life, but is not necessarily a threat to our lives, is incrediblyharmful. Stress, in the YouTube video “Making Stress Your Friend” is all aboutperspective; well at least that’s what I took away from it. When I think about perspective,I think about the undisputed king of spin Ferris Bueller, and maybe even moreimportantly his friend Cameron; in particularly the notablescene, when the characters focus on Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Islandof La Grande Jatte.” Cameron, centers his focus deeply on the face in thepainting until it dissipates into a cluster of spots. John Hughes, the directorand writer of the movie offered this commentary regarding the scene, explainingthat “the montage represents Cameron’s growing sense that his life is asmeaningless as those dots.
” I believe that to mean that Cameron’sproblem, essentially stems from his perspective. A point that McGonigalexpresses in her Ted Talk. Kellyremedied stress as a disease that makes people sick, but now she disagrees withthat original analysis. In a report that measured individuals’ emotional stateof stress, their viewpoint concerning stress, and drew a parallel against deathrecords.
The people who were presumably going to die were more stressed thanthe people who lived extensively longer lives. People who were extremelystressed but did not consider it to be detrimental were the group less likelyto die. Kelly proved it wasn’t stress that killed people, instead it is the thoughtof stress that does harm. We should rethink our mental response to stress, andthat would change the way our body responds to it.
“Whenstressed, your heart beats faster, you breathe faster, and you’ll break outinto a sweat. Normally we’d view these as signs that you’re not coping well,but people could also be taught that your body is preparing for action. Bypumping more blood and breathing more you are preparing for somethingdifficult, and ready to take on any challenge. The harmful part of stress is arestriction of blood vessels, which is associated with cardiovascular disease.When people learn to see stress as a positive, the blood vessels do notconstrict. The body response looks more like it is full of joy. The next timeyou are stressed, think about it as your body preparing you for the challenge.
Stressmakes you social. Oxytocin is a neural hormone that primes you to strengthenrelationships, and help your friends. It is also known as ‘the cuddle hormone’.
But Oxytocin is also released as a stress response – to make you want to tellsomeone you are struggling. Oxytocin is also received in the heart, tostrengthen, heal and protect it from the effects of stress. As you release moreof this hormone by being stressed or helping others, you increase your stressresilience.”Therewas also another study held that compared how stressed people were, to how muchtime and energy they spent interacting with their family, friends, community,and that was also measured against death records.
In generally, people whoexperienced the most stress increased their probability of dying by 30%. On theother hand, people who weren’t as stressed, who spent an abundance of theirtime interacting with people forming good relationships, had no increased riskof dying. Apparently, the way we think of stress is the way our body interpretsit. If given a choice in your job between a stressful one and one that is not,Kelly believes “that you follow the one that gives you the most meaning, andtrust yourself to handle the stress that results.”Inconclusion, Kelly explains that your perception of stress has a bearing onwhether or not it becomes harmful.
Bytaking away the fear component of stress (due to the fact that it has beenevidenced not to be harmful physiologically) the body will be less likely to gointo peripheral vasoconstriction, lessening or preventing the associatedhypertension that is found to be one of the players in cardiovascular damagewithin the stress response. The role ofOxytocin has been briefly explained as a cardio-protector, which she reportedsalves the harmful effects of harmful stress-related hormones during theresponse. In other words, anunderstanding that stress won’t kill you will allow you to simply work throughthe stress in an appropriate manner, whilst lessening the negative side-effectsof the common negative fear response.