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Benefits of stress

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 2.2

How you perceive stress has a big impact on how it affects you and those you lead. Recognize how you can use it to connect with others in your community.



Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Lori] Hi and welcome to Two for You. Today we're going to talk about something we can all relate to which is stress. But we're not going to talk about the negative aspects of stress. Instead we're going to talk about how stress may not be a bad thing. Research is showing us that it's really about how we are acknowledging this stress and if we actually frame our stress and reframe our stress in our bodies as a good thing, our bodies react differently. So instead of constricting, our blood vessels actually can open up and our body receives the stress that we have more in the way that we do when we experience joy or courage.

[Denise] So besides the great part of the blood vessels and what our body is doing, our brain is also sending out a lot of oxytocin, and oxytocin is that hormone that we often associate with love and trust, but it's actually a stress hormone. And so when it's pumping through your body it is driving you to seek human connection and the fact that it's motivating us to listen to others but also to share our own stress with each other. Really it wants us to "tend and befriend".

[Lori] So I think this really can help us as community leaders. I know it can help me. So the next time I'm in a group and we're only in a stressful situation, you know, just naming that stress and say, hey, what we're doing is pretty stressful. I can feel the stress. But it can also help us to prepare for what we have in the challenge ahead.

[Denise] And to acknowledge the fact that your body is telling you not to go at it alone. That you want to lean on each other, share in that together and with that positive attitude, make you and those around you better for the stress at hand.

[Lori] Alright, so here we go. The next time you experience some stress, try to reframe it as you live and lead with intention. 

Authors: Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, former Extension educators

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