{topTED} How To Make Stress Your Friend


Aviv Tchernichovski, originally from Israel but now living in Beacon NY is attending PrattMWP. Her major is in illustration and she’s also interested in graphic design and typography. Her hobbies include learning etymology, getting unflattering pictures of herself taken and collecting toy teacups.

Kelly McGonigal:
How to Make Stress Your Friend

reviewed by Aviv Tchernichovski

Kelly McGonigal gets redemption for her years of misinforming people about the true nature of stress in her TED talk. Instead of teaching people to fear and avoid stress, she claims getting a better understanding of how stress affects our bodies can change how we react to it. Her entire notion of stress did a 180 when she learned of several studies regarding how informed people use stress to their advantage. By simply viewing your stress responses as positive and helpful rather than embarrassing and negative you can improve your performance over high stress situations. Not only does understanding stress help you mentally overcome it, you can also physically overcome the side-effects of stress such as heart damage. All this sounds pretty persuasive already, but McGonigal’s last point in her presentation is what touched me the most. She found a study that showed a correlation between people who reached out and helped others during their most stressful times and their resilience towards stress-related illness. Our bodies release a hormone that makes a crave human interaction with the rest of our stress hormones, basically a self-defense system to seek help from others. It’s amazing that stress response in our bodies is programmed in such a beautiful way.

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