The power of reframing stress to improve your psychological health

The power of reframing stress to improve your psychological health

This week, with my workshops cancelled, I have been coaching people online rather than face to face (for some, even this change has been stressful!).  Many of the coaching conversations have been around stress.  Currently, many people are experiencing stress.

How you think about stress matters:

How you think about stress, has a huge impact on how you experience it.

If you were to reframe stress, or think differently about stress, for example, think of it as a challenge rather than a threat, your performance can improve, and there are short term health benefits.

Reframing stress, or giving stress a different meaning is not about eliminating stress. It’s about you having some control over how you experience it.

Here’s a study from Harvard University on stress reappraisal (reframing):

Jamieson JP, Nock MK, Mendes WB. (2012). Mind over Matter: Reappraising Arousal Improves Cardiovascular and Cognitive Responses to Stress. Journal of experimental psychology General, 141, 417. DOI:10.1037/a0025719.

As the Harvard study shows, people who reframe a stress response as useful – actually reported that it helped with their performance.  They didn’t report less stress, their stress didn’t go away, they just thought about it in a different way.

How are you currently thinking about stress?

How could you reframe it?