I just finished up a book that was bubbling to the top of my to-read pile as the Holidays passed by me at warp speed. The subject of stress does occupy many minds during the winter months and the up and coming income tax season. But as I began reading the following book I found that this book is a welcome read for any time of the year since stress comes in many forms.
Title: The Upside of Stress
By Kelly McGonigal, PhD
File Size: 1321 KB
Print Length: 301 pages
Publisher: Avery (May 5, 2015)
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
For most of our lives, we have been told that stress is harmful to our health. What if someone were able to prove this to be otherwise? How would you feel if you found that there are more health benefits to stress then health risks? All it takes is a change in your mindset.
Kelly McGonigal argues in her book The Upside of Stress that psychologists have been telling people for years that stress is bad for you but she has discovered through research that this is not indeed the case. With her research, she can prove the benefits of stress can outweigh the harmful effects of stress that revolves around changing the mindset about stress. If one can believe that stress is beneficial than the coping mechanisms associated with stressful events can cause personal growth which will improve the health of that individual.
“Mindsets are beliefs that shape your reality, including objective physical reactions (like the strength of my arm as Crum pushed on it), and even long-term health, happiness, and success. More important, the new field of mindset science shows that a single brief intervention, designed to change how you think about something, can improve your health, happiness, and success, even years into the future.” (McGonigal 2016, 4)
Kelly McGonigal, Phd., is a lecturer and psychologist at Stanford University and an expert on mind-body relationship. She is a senior teacher/consultant at Stanford for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and also teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program. Her work validates the claims of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.
I understand what McGonigal means when she makes the statement, “When you face difficulties head-on, instead of trying to avoid or deny them, you build your resources for dealing with stressful experiences.” (McGonigal 2016, 18) We all face difficulties over the course of our lives. It is not a matter of what those challenges are but how we handle them that matters most in life. If we don’t manage them well, then we tend to repeat those problems until we can overcome them.
This book explains the reasoning behind why McGonigal believes that stress can be healthy for personal growth. Her research she shares verify why the probability this is correct and she describes this well in the book.
I did not find anything in this book that I would disagree with which is why I have rated this book with five stars.
I highly recommend everyone to read this book, and hopefully, it will change your outlook on stress and help you handle those dreadful times with personal growth and resilience.
McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (p. 18). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
McGonigal, Kelly. The Upside of Stress. New York: Avery, 2016.