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Is anxiety good for you?

Unlikely, as it might seem a little anxiety can serve you well. When you are anxious, a little stress is a good thing. According to Dr Sarah McKay:

We need mild stress in order to change.

I realize I am blending stress and anxiety here, but if one is a symptom of the other than there is a very important connection. The connection between stress and anxiety can drive you forward. 

Either your body is sending a message to your brain, or your brain is sending a message to your body. In both cases you need to build more positive, social, and emotional connections. In order to resolve the underlying issue it is helpful to share what is making you feel or respond this way. 

Anxiety and Stress are good friends!

Kelly McGonigal (Health Psychologist) Finishes her TED talk How to make stress your friend withthe observation that when you reach out and help others, or accept help and support, you are more likely to thrive. 

The ability to thrive occurs when we work together. Those who let anxiety and stress overwhelm them become insular and they shut down. The result of this is more suffering. 

Anxiety and stress are drivers for change. 

The trick is not to let anxiety or stress, overwhelm you. As Kelly McGonigal explains: 

‘When oxytocin is released in the stress response, it is motivating you to seek support. Your biological stress response is nudging you to tell someone how you feel, instead of bottling it up…

It also acts on your body, and one of its main roles in your body is to protect your cardiovascular system from the effects of stress. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

It also helps your blood vessels stay relaxed during stress. But my favorite effect on the body is actually on the heart. Your heart has receptors for this hormone, and oxytocin helps heart cells regenerate and heal from any stress-induced damage. This stress hormone strengthens your heart’.

Anxiety and stress can help your resilience.

So, is stress-induced anxiety good for you? 

According to the research, ‘Yes’! (See Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk) 

Stress can prompt you to reach out for help. It provides a reason to connect with someone. The result is you access a new resource within yourself.

#anxiety #oxytocin  #stress

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