“Look for your team. Look for your allies. And have the courage to stand up for other people.” — Kelly McGonigal

Most of us do everything we can to avoid stress. But new research shows that if we learn to accept and even embrace stress, we will be happier and more effective in our lives. In this episode, Brian interviews Dr. Kelly McGonigal, author, health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. Dr. McGonigal explains the benefits of stress and outlines how we can all learn and grow from challenging life experiences.

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Inspirational quotes from today’s interview:

“People often feel like there are only two ways to respond to stress. You can fight or you can flee.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Stress isn’t always about attacking it and killing it and winning it.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Your brain and body have different ways of responding to stress that can help you thrive.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Sometimes you are in a situation where you cannot handle it alone — it’s too big.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Look for your team. Look for your allies. And have the courage to stand up for other people.” — Kelly McGonigal

“It’s good to know ‘I’m not the only one’.” — Brian Buffini

“Most of us have a story in our head that says “this shouldn’t be stressful” for the very things that are most likely to cause stress.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Stress is something that arises in your mind and your body when something you care about is at stake.” — Kelly McGonigal

“We have stress responses in every relationship that matters to us, every role that matters to us and every goal that matters to us.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Increased sensitivity is not necessarily a weakness when it comes with the resources and the willingness to respond.” — Kelly McGonigal

“One of the things we know about the biology of stress is that recovery is an important part of the process.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Part of the stress recovery process happens when we sleep, and part of the stress recovery process also happens when we reflect on our experiences.” —Kelly McGonigal

“Surrender a little bit to the fact that if you went through something very stressful, your brain is going to try to learn from it. Do it intentionally. Sit down, write about it, talk to someone about it and reflect on it. That will help you recover more quickly and also help you learn from the experience so that you are stronger afterwards.” — Kelly McGonigal

“Some anxiety can be helpful, some anxiety can be really paralyzing. It’s like you’re practicing for stress. What we have to do is find ways to practice that are skillful and then to shut it down when it’s not skillful.” — Kelly McGonigal

“We need to learn ways to practice positive distraction.” — Kelly McGonigal

“People who exercise more tend to be better at stress. (It) also brings joy. And joy is one of those resources that you can’t underestimate.” — Kelly McGonigal

“I don’t have to give my best energy towards outrage or fear that I actually can’t have any impact on.” — Kelly McGonigal

 

Mentioned in this episode

The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal

The Upside of Stress” by Kelly McGonigal

TED Talk: How to Make Stress Your Friend | Kelly McGonigal

 

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