This is a fascinating talk, just released by TED in September 2013 and would be considered especially relevant to any consultant, coach or organisational psychologist who is interested in neuroscience, positive psychology, emotional intelligence and/or human performance.
Most of us think stress is bad. In fact, people who lead stressful lives have a much higher chance of dying. But McGonigal discovered new research that suggests stress may only kill you if you believe that stress itself is bad for you.
The key take away of the talk is ultimately one of self-awareness (the first foundation of emotional intelligence). How you choose to think about stress when it occurs will actually serve to help or harm you at a physiological level:
"If you raised your hand and said you'd had a lot of stress in the last year, we could have saved your life. Because hopefully the next time that your heart is pounding from stress, your going to remember this talk and your going to think to yourself: this is my body helping me rise to this challenge. And when you view stress in that way, your body believes you, and your stress response becomes healthier."
Who is Kelly McGonigal? Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a health psychologist, lecturer at Stanford University, author of several books including “The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It,” and the audio series “The Neuroscience of Change.” Dr. McGonigal’s work has been covered on CBS Evening News, U.S. News and World Report, CNN.com, O! The Oprah Magazine, Time magazine, USA Today, and the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology. She is also a frequent source of expert advice and commentary for media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC.com, Web MD, Time, Fitness, Women’s Health, and more. In 2010, Forbes named her one of the 20 most inspiring women to follow on Twitter.
What is TED? The speaking conference attracts some of the world’s leading thinkers from every field and every corner of the globe, providing the opportunity to share their most important ideas in 5 - 18 minute presentations. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) started as a non-profit founded in 1984 as an annual one-off event, which could only been seen by a privileged few. In 2006, the talks were finally offered for free viewing online and its popularity took off. With the tag “Ideas Worth Spreading,” their talks have reached over one billion views.