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Let's talk about STRESS baby

Have you ever been stressed; did you notice or take heed of your physiological and psychological responses to it? Common signs or symptoms of stress are a pounding heart, shortness of breath or feeling nauseous, and if you’ve had any of these you know it isn’t pleasant. We tend to interpret these responses to stress as anxiety or signs that we aren’t coping well in certain situations. This stress response throws you off your game, it consumes you, it can drag you down and can have devastating effects.

Now let me blow your mind…

In a time where looking at things alternatively can bring us hope, and turning a negative mindset to a positive one can be inspiring, how about we look at stress through a different lens? Maybe we should interpret these stress signs as our body preparing itself for action giving us confidence to tackle stress triggers head on and championing us to succeed in victory.  Changing our mindset to understanding the idea that our bodies are becoming energised is key. Believing that a pounding heart isn’t a bad thing, it’s just us building strength and energy. Grasping that rapid breathing is explained as a way for more oxygen to get to our brain to help us find clarity in the challenges we face. Viewing our stress responses as helpful and positive, can provide us faith in our abilities.

Taking inspiration from Dr Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk, How to make stress our friend, by reprogramming our brains in how we think about and adopt our approach to stress is a monumental game changer to our physical and mental health. It’s proven that when you change your mindset regarding stress, you can change your body’s response to it. When you view and harness stress as positive energy your blood vessels stay relaxed, allowing blood to flow around the body gracefully, reducing risk of vasoconstriction and potential damage to the heart. Dilated, relaxed blood vessels emulate the same physiological response when we experience moments of joy and courage…interesting, right?

It is the trust in your body that you must connect with and whole heartedly believe that your body is helping you rise to a challenge. As this change in mindset grows and becomes dominant, naturally your stress response becomes healthier. This doesn’t mean that you need to stop your ways of dealing with stress e.g.; exercise, kitchen discos etc, as these are also what we invariably find fun and gain satisfaction from. The thought is that you keep doing them in collaboration with your new way of thinking.

So, to close and leave you with a thought pondering concise message; harmful effects of stress on your health are not irreversible, however how you think, and act transforms your own experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as healthy and helpful, you create the biology of courage. Looking at stress through this type of lens expresses that you trust yourself to handle life’s challenges.


We know that these stress responses, however they are viewed, can be caused by the workplace. There are so many of you great leaders out there wanting to support your people to feel good at work by equipping them for new challenges. Talk to us at HR Star where we have programmes, training, and ideas to really help your people to feel well and be well.

Join us on one of our short, dedicated wellbeing programmes, or equip your managers to work positively with their teams and their stresses or become a dedicated Mental Health First Aider on one of our accredited courses.

We’d love to help you to create the workplace that everyone wants to be a part of.


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