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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 13 2013: You've not supplied a great deal to support your conjectures here. Stress can be perceptual, there can be positive levels of stress and negative stress.
    Acknowledging the Power of Positive Stress: Alex Charfen at TEDxRedondoBeach

    Negative stress can have profound effects on the body.
    'Stress, Neurodegeneration and Individual Differences' by Robert Sapolsky
    • Sep 14 2013: I understand I have not supplied much support and that is because I personally don't know much about the subject however I appreciate where the comments have gone. I believe Robert Sapolsky stated it perfectly when he states that we are in this realm where we can "...secrete Glucocorticoid merely with thoughts...this capacity to chronically turn on the stress response for reasons of physiological or social stress...this system did not evolve for chronic activation." He says much more but I feel this captures the essence of what I was getting at with my original thought. I'd say regardless of this being a chronic thins, the system did not evolve for as many social triggers as we have in our day and age. This helps me understand that there is such thing as too much/ bad stress and what the biological explanation is for it.
      As for the other talk, its great. I believe these two are brilliantly paired and get at the concepts that i believe to be the true struggle of stress.

      Now I would challenge that much of the bad stress is caused by incorrect or irrational perceptions of our ever growing social lives that we experience today. Stress may be the biological response but the big picture that is all too often over looked is what is causing that stress and if we better identify it can we start to control the stress?
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        Sep 15 2013: I hear that you are saying two things: one can control the amount of stress in one' environment by decreasing it, and/or one can better manage the stress by coping with what cannot be changed.
    • Sep 21 2013: Theodore: wouldn't it be more accurate to say that there are not 2 kinds of stress, but merely degrees that range from stimulating to paralyzing.
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        Sep 21 2013: Stress may be perceived. So there is only the perception of stress. We either manage it or eliminate it. Those are the options. The failure to do either is to suffer the effects of it.
        • Sep 21 2013: Theodore: I take it that you are not a war vet. I have been puzzling over just how a soldier can either manage it or eliminate it, and have come up empty.
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        Sep 21 2013: Did you miss the last part of my statement. "The failure to do either is to suffer the effects of it."
        Now, granted we all have differing capacities for dealing with stress, and part of the conditioning soldiers go through addresses how they will handle stress. But stress needs up taking its toll over the long run in an accumulated fashion, resulting in what was once called "battle fatigue," and now referred to as PTSD.

        See Combat stress reaction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_stress_reaction
        • Sep 29 2013: Theodore: I think you are being wildly optimistic if you think our society is "managing Stress". It is more the case that the Stress is managing US. Old enough to remember the Depression, ,my main memory of those days is, how much more neurotic and out of control people's fears are nowadays , compared to then. Neurotic behavior is one of the symptoms of Battle Fatigue: i.e. over reacting to shadows, and failing to react to real threats. Seems like a good description of American society these days. We are overwhelmed with examples: I don't recall hearing about any mass shootings until 1946, right after WW2; the "War on Terror", about as sensible as the old War on Witches of 300 years ago. The very existence of the TSA . The astounding gullliblity of the public when it comes to accepting nonsensical explanations , or rather, lack of them, for such things as the WTC incidents. The constant emergence of mass shootings by ordinary people, for practically no reasons. Sounds like Battle Fatigue to me. And let us remember, even changes for the Better are stressful.
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        Sep 30 2013: Can you point to where I claim that our society is managing stress?

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