Stress Can Be a Good Thing If You Know How to Use It

by Alia Crum and Thomas Crum

WITH ALL THE MEDIA AND MEDICAL ATTENTION on stress and its negative health impacts, it is easy to reach the conclusion that stress is irredeemably bad—something to be avoided as much as possible.

We have a different perspective. We believe that pursuing a “stress-free” life often causes more stress down the line—problems compound, and by failing to face our most intense challenges we never overcome them. Think about a time when you experienced substantial personal or professional growth, or a time when you performed at your highest level, such as finishing a race, building a business, or raising a child. What was it that motivated and fueled you to grow, learn, ...

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