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Home » How to Make Stress Your Friend by Kelly McGonigal (Transcript)

How to Make Stress Your Friend by Kelly McGonigal (Transcript)

Kelly McGonigal at TED Talks

Here is the full text and summary of Kelly McGonigal’s talk titled “How to Make Stress Your Friend.”

While stress has been viewed as a public health enemy, psychologist Kelly McGonigal introduces us to the new perspective as to how we look at stress as positive and that too backed up by the research findings that she shares in this TED talk 2013. She says stress may only be bad if you believe so.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Kelly McGonigal – Health psychologist

I have a confession to make, but first, I want you to make a little confession to me. In the past year, I want you to just raise your hand if you’ve experienced relatively little stress. Anyone?

How about a moderate amount of stress? Who has experienced a lot of stress? Yeah. Me too.

But that is not my confession. My confession is this: I am a health psychologist, and my mission is to help people be happier and healthier. But I fear that something I’ve been teaching for the last 10 years is doing more harm than good, and it has to do with stress.

For years I’ve been telling people, stress makes you sick. It increases the risk of everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. Basically, I’ve turned stress into the enemy. But I have changed my mind about stress, and today, I want to change yours.

Let me start with the study that made me rethink my whole approach to stress. This study tracked 30,000 adults in the United States for eight years, and they started by asking people, “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?” They also asked, “Do you believe that stress is harmful for your health?” And then they used public death records to find out who died.

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