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We have become such conscious beings that we now over complicate stress which used to be a simple subconscious survival mechanism.

We are not teaching our bodies to react with our mind, we are retraining ourselves to not over think our physical coping mechanisms to life.

Two things in Kelly's talk got me thinking about the roots of this:
1. Stress is the body's way of overcoming the stressor.
2. Human interaction is a natural desire that helps stress.
First off, why would we think of stress as bad when it's purpose is to help us? Kelley McGonigal has stated it and biology states it, stress is the body's way to react to a challenge. Who would want to compete with this natural reaction? By saying our mind has the power to create a positive affect from stress is to say that stress is a negative reaction. But as stated, it has been a positive response and we have to rediscover how to work with that response.
Regarding our desire for human interaction; it seems like a very animal like response. When we look at the response to stress in animals such as monkeys (that's very broad because I'm speculating) I have a feeling very few of them break down and start pulling their hair out. The natural response as Kelly mentioned is to seek help. In an animal pack that is exactly what will happen while in the human world social interaction has become so much more complex that reaching out for help could show signs of weakness and cause embarrassment.
So why do we compete with stress? I believe this is because humans have been trained out of it; we've brushed our natural response to stress aside as we've become more dominant as a race and as we've made more and more technological advances.

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  • Sep 21 2013: I don't think primitive people got accustomed to stress, and everything was fine. See sociological study called "Future Shock", published about 30 years ago. Lots of charts, etc. showing that we are all living with constantly increasing stress levels as the years go by. The worst part of it is, the people get even more stressed if there doesn't appear to be any way out of it. PTSD is basiclly caused by unremitting stress. My theory is, a lot of craziness we see more and more often, like mass shootings, is merely the spreading of such stressfulness into ordinary life, where formerly it was mostly soldiers reacting that way. Now it is common. And the reason seems to be partly many the "Improvement s" of the last hundred years. (Even changes for the better are stressful., like job changes) Certainly the wiping out of the blue collar middle class is stressful., Expect more shootings. Cutting Foods Stamps, etc. may help "the Economy", i.e. Bankers bottom lines, but it is very stressful for everyone else.

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