B1 Intermediate AU 2733 Folder Collection
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When I need to unwind, there's nothing I love more than an "experience."
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, zip-lining or even just riding roller coasters at Coney Island.
These aren't relaxing activities by any stretch.
In fact, they get my adrenaline pumping, so physiologically I'm experiencing "stress," but I still enjoy them, and I still feel better after them.
Stress usually gets a bad rap.
Some studies have linked chronic stress to depression, obesity, and heart disease.
But my happy experiences with briefly stressful activities got me thinking...
Are there times when a little stress can be good for us?
I'm Vanessa and you're watching BrainCraft.
We explore the psychology in your every day life.
Now, scientists have actually done a lot of studies on the potential benefits of short-term, acute stress.
A group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin wanted to know if the stress hormone cortisol affects how well people learn and remember.
A study that's relevant for students cramming for exams all over the world!
Now, cortisol is naturally released when our "fight or flight" systems are activated.
Chronically high levels of cortisol are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive issues, anxiety and depression.
But in spurts, cortisol works as a signal to increase dopamine, which improves perception and attention.
In this study, researchers gave participants a placebo, 20 milligrams, or 40 milligrams of cortisol.
Then they gave them a list of words to memorize.
Two days later, people who received a 20-milligram dose did the best job of recognizing the words that they'd been asked to memorize.
So a little stress, but not too much, can actually help us learn.
Beyond a boost in memory, researchers were curious about how these small bursts of stress could impact our relationships with others.
Would stress bring us together or push us apart?
So, they put people through stress-inducing tasks, and then measured their social behaviors compared to control participants.
The stressed participants were more trustworthy and more likely to share in a game where they could compete or cooperate to win money.
This result is supported by how communities respond to disasters in the real world.
Research shows that people are more cooperative, open, and giving after a disaster.
Acute stress can bring communities together too.
And the way that we think about stress can have a huge influence on the way it affects us.
People who view stress as potentially beneficial are less negatively impacted by adverse life events than people who think stress can only be bad. -[Stressfull events can help me grow as a person]
So, think about presenting or speaking in front of a crowd.
Everyone has a physiological stress response to public speaking: cortisol levels and heart rate go up, you might feel a little nauseous or jittery.
Would you describe this as anxiety or excitement?
The physical sensation is the same, but someone who describes that feeling as "excitement" is more likely to enjoy public speaking than someone who describes it as "anxiety."
Simply learning that symptoms of stress may be beneficial, and can lead to healthier responses to stress in the future.
So while chronic high stress is known to be harmful, short-term, acute stress isn't necessarily bad.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, think about a time that you enjoyed stress, like during a horror movie, or while riding a roller coaster.
Think of times when stress helped you cram for an exam or when a stressful experience brought you closer to a friend or colleague.
Reframing your thinking about stress can have real benefits for how you experience day-to-day challenges.
So instead of being stressed about stress, try to focus on how you can use it to your advantage!
Now, if you're trying to stress less, one thing that can help is password manager.
You don't have to stress about remembering every single password you've ever used or weak passwords, either.
Dashlane, the sponsor of this video, keeps you safe online in every way.
Their password manager will create a single master password that never transmitted over the Internet, not even to dashlane.
You can also save an auto-filled information, like addresses, phone numbers, credit cards to fill out forms in a single click.
So, to make your interneting faster and easier, visit dashlane.com/braincraft for a free 30 day trials of dashlane premium.
And if you like it, you can use braincraft as a code for 10 percent off, thanks!
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The Upside of Stress

2733 Folder Collection
Annie Chien published on March 30, 2020    Annie Chien translated    adam reviewed
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