Yes, stress can wreak havoc in our lives – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Stress can cause diseases, illness, and even in some cases death. We all know we’d rather not stress than live our lives full of anxiety. But let’s take a moment to rethink the way we look at stress. There are ways that stress can be beneficial when we think about our reaction to fight or flight. Stress is what conditions us to know when haul through it or to completely ditch the situation. However, there are most responses to stress than just fight or flight.


There was a study asking a group of people “How much stress did you experience in the last year? Do you believe that stress is harmful to your health?” Eight years later, the researchers checked back in with the participants to see how stress impacted rates of mortality. Interestingly enough, they found that participants with high levels of stress were more likely to die, BUT ONLY if they also believed that stress was harmful to their health. Alternatively, those who experienced high levels of stress who DID NOT believe that it was harmful to their health, actually had the lowest risk of death of any group in the study.


So basically, if we acknowledge the existence of stress but don’t believe it has an affect on us, we are able to live with stress positively. This mindset helps us to become more resilient and actually helps us to better manage stress. For example, “Hotel room attendants who adopted the mindset that their work was exercise showed significant reduction in blood pressure, weight, BMI and hip to waist ratio.” They had the mindset to approach stress differently, taking the situation for what it is and not getting worked up over it.


Here’s how we too can change our mindset. First, we need to acknowledge stress when we experience it and notice how it impacts us. Second, recognize that stress is a response to something you care about. Try to connect to that positive motivation behind stress. And lastly, make use of the the energy that stress gives us, turn it to something more productive. By adopting a mindset that believes stress helps, we can lessen depression and anxiety, achieve higher levels of energy and work performance, and life satisfaction.


If you are struggling to cope with stress or manage your emotions, please contact Crownview Medical Group to connect with a specialized medical professional who can help you to adopt this mindset and help you live the life you are meant to be living – one of optimum potential, happiness, and productivity.



Crum, A. (2012). Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response.  Dissertation, Yale University.

Crum, A.J., Salovey, P., & Achor, S. (2013).  Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(4), 716-733.