What’s your reaction when you face a stressful situation?Does it feel threatening and draining?
Or does it feel challenging and energizing?
There’s important research that shows this internal dialogue really matters – not only in how we respond to stress in the moment, but also how it affects us over time.
Viewing stress as a threat narrows our focus and releases all sorts of stress hormones. In some situations, this is necessary and helpful, but there’s a mental and physical cost to constantly activating a threat response. Additionally, for most stressors we face the threat response impairs our ability to make good decisions.
It can be very helpful to shift that focus to view stress as a challenge instead! This shift in language accidentally widens our focus and releases hormones that energize us and foster social connection.
It gives us the strength to say, we’ve handled many challenges ever since we were born, we can do it again.
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