High levels of stress are associated with both distress and well-being
Have you heard that stress is bad for you? Bad for your health? And should be avoided or reduced? Most people have - it's a common belief.
Unfortunately, that is neither the complete nor the most accurate picture. More recent research is showing that stress can actually be good for you. Every time I teach about stress I am reminded how few people know this critical new information.
Even though most people view stress as harmful, higher levels of stress seem to go along with things we want: love, health, and satisfaction with life.
People: "I just wish I was less stressed."
Me: "Are you sure?"
Here's a glimpse of some of the new(ish) science that's not getting enough attention:
Researchers asked more than 125,000 people ages 15+ from 121 countries one question: "did you feel a great deal of stress yesterday?" Then computed an index of national stress.
The higher a nation's stress index, the higher the nation's well-being, life expectancy, GDP, happiness, and satisfaction with life.
It turns out that "Even though most people view stress as harmful, higher levels of stress seem to go along with things we want: love, health, and satisfaction with our lives."
Yep. Happy lives are not stress-free, nor does a stress-free life guarantee happiness.