It is fairly hard to escape the staggering numbers; prescriptions for stress reducing medications are at record numbers, with tens of millions of Americans downing mood altering chemicals in the desperate pursuit of trying to battle stress. Not that this is really anything new; prior generations simply chose a different poison so to speak, downing an after work cocktail…or six in an effort to “unwind.”
Given the current state of the economy; in the crapper despite the media’s best efforts to prop up the weakling Obama administration numbers, the expectations for those who actually have jobs pressed into wearing two, three or more hats and the flow of information bombarding us like a fire hose, is it any wonder stress is having a negative impact on or lives and health?
Well riding to the rescue is Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturerer and the bestselling author of The Willpower Instinct, with her new book The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You and How to Get Good at It. McGonigal makes the case in her research and by extension the book, that stress doesn’t always have to be a negative and cause us harm.
Could it be that stress makes us better? McGonigal makes the case that by embracing stress, we can actually become smarter, stronger and even happier! No, this isn’t based on some feel good mumbo jumbo; McGonigal rolls out a densely researched case for her hypothesis. This is not for the faint of heart or those apt to be reaching for the mood levelers; the research is heavy lifting and McGonigal displays a habit of making her case in an almost overly thorough way.