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  • This video is supportive in part by dashlane.

  • 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 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!

This video is supportive in part by dashlane.

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The Upside of Stress

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    Annie Chien posted on 2020/05/01
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