How Stress Can Actually Make You Healthier

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No one likes to feel stressed out.

In fact, people who experience a great deal of stress face a 43 percent increased risk of dying. Believe it or not, however, that statistic only applies to those who are under the impression that stress is detrimental to health.

Stress doesn’t kill people, thinking that stress is harmful kills people.

Changing the way you think about stress can actually make you healthier. Viewing stress as a sign that your body is energized and prepared to meet the challenges ahead can make a huge difference in both your outlook and your health.

When your body releases oxytocin, the hormone strengthens your close relationships, protects your cardiovascular system, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and even relaxes your blood vessels.

Stress can also be beneficial because it makes you more social.

When you’re stressed and reach out to others for support, more of the oxytocin hormone is released which strengthens your heart. The more of this hormone your body releases, the happier you feel and the faster your body recovers from stress. The human body has a built-in mechanism for stress resilience: human connection.

In life, there are countless sources of stress including financial problems or a family crisis. The best way to overcome these stressors is to take care of others. You may not be able to control the sources of stress in your life, but you can change the way you think about it. Think of stress in a different light and it will do you more good than harm.

So, remember:

Go after the things that bring your life meaning.

Discomfort caused by stress is a temporary feeling that your body is capable of handling. The benefits of helping others and spending time with loved-ones far outweigh the side effects of stress.

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