Meaningful anxiety – The 200 words project

Last week, we found that stress was found to be a predictor of a meaningful life – contrary to our generally negative perception. Researchers at Yale found that this negative perception greatly decreased the quality of our lives.

So, how do we go about switching our perception of stress?
In a study, researchers had people come into a lab about to go into a job interview for the job of their dreams. In the stressful waiting area, researchers told some participants to focus how they were going to impress the interviewers. Another group was asked to think about how the job was connected to their values and to counter anxiety by thinking about why they cared about the job so much.

The “meaning” group were rated higher and were found to be more inspiring and uplifting.

Similar studies have found that the way to switch our perception of stress is to embrace it by digging deep to understand why we care and, then, to recognize that a meaningful life is also a stressful life.

Stress, like adversity, is an opportunity to learn, grow and express our values. And, most importantly, to trust that we can handle the challenge.

When you’re feeling stressed out, just make contact with the paradox of stress. Recognize that stress is not a signal that there’s something wrong with you but a sign that something you care about is at stake, an opportunity to think about what you care about. – Kelly McGonigal (paraphrased)

Source and thanks to: Kelly McGonigal @ 99U