Rethinking Your Stress: A New Mindset

Nobody likes stress. Stress is often thought of something to avoid or simply deal with.  Ms. Bednarek, a health teacher at Glenbard West, said, “Stress can harm the mental and physical areas of one’s health.”

Students and teachers often try to think of ways to avoid or face stress. Doing things like developing time management is a great way to reduce stress, but these techniques should be combined with a stress mindset.

Developing a stress mindset asks students to think of stress as a normal body function, not something to avoid or get rid of.  If students are able to do this, they could reduce the negative impacts of stress.

Kelly McGonigal, a PhD student and professor from Stanford, wrote The Upside of Stress where she states that rethinking stress can “change its effect on everything from your physical health and emotional well being to your satisfaction at work and hopefulness about the future.”

For example, by telling yourself you are excited about a test out loud, instead of thinking about how anxious you are, you can move your mindset from an avoidance to a challenged one.

Ian Robertson, a leading neuropsychologist and professor, wrote The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make Stronger and Sharper, and in it he says that the brain “is not hard wired, instead, it can be changed by experience.” The brain can be taught to think about stress in a different way.

What are ways you can rethink about the role stress plays in your life?