Not All Stress Is Bad


Right before a challenging event such as giving a speech at your Neighborhood Watch group or getting a diagnosis after having medical tests, you'll probably have "butterflies in your stomach." You may also have shaky hands, sweaty palms, and a pounding heart. But those are actually good reactions, of a study done at the University of Rochester in New York and published online in Clinical Psychological Science.

They are signs that your body is preparing you to have the strength to cope.  

Accordingto a release from the university, simply encouraging people to reframe the meaning of these signs of stress as natural and helpful was surprisingly effective.

"The problem is that we think all stress is bad," explains lead author Jeremy Jamieson. "We see headlines about 'Killer Stress' and talk about being 'stressed out.' Before speaking in public, people often interpret stress sensations, like butterflies in the stomach, as a warning that something bad is about to happen. But those feelings just mean that our body is preparing to address a demanding situation."

Jamieson adds that plenty of current advice for anxious people focuses on learning to relax. Yet the authors write that when you're gearing up for a situation that requires peak performance, then reframing how you think about stress may be a better strategy.


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