Christophe Bousquet Posted almost 2 years ago What about animals? Well, I guess Kelly McGonigal implies that stress is only problematic when individuals classify it as bad, because the study she referred to asked the people whether or not they thought stress is good or bad. She also says precisely: "How you think about stress matters". This renders self-awareness necessary to have an effect. As you rightly write, "animals may not have the self awareness". Therefore, their cognitive abilities prevent them from a) putting a name on stress, and b) classifying stress as good or bad. The fact that animals are able to maintain or not their stasis is not enough to compensate for this lack of cognitives abilities. If they are stuck in a negative "balance in relationship to themselves and their environment" (for instance, they cannot emigrate), they would all rate stress as bad and would all suffer from it. No animal could be stuck in this negative balance and not suffer from it, justly because animals cannot rate this negative balance as good. Hence the paradox I do not understand: stress has less severe impacts on health when rated as good, but to rate it as good an individual need to be cognitively able to do so. Animals do feel the stress but cannot classify it as good or bad, unless I missed a study somewhere. And animals feel stress so much that, as you rightly point out, it can have "profound effects on the body". So they act as if they could rate stress as bad. Besides, if stress makes us social, as Kelly also reports in her talk, then one should expect that stressful environments contain more social animal species. I do not think this has ever been shown. And, by the way, I am fully aware that humans are animals.