Thanksgiving is TOMORROW, how has this year flown by so fast?! Are you feeling the stress? Chances are you are. In fact, check out this blog about the phenomenon of holiday stress we posted this time last year to see why.

We have been taught that we should minimize and eliminate stress if at all possible, and that stress will literally make us sick. We view stress as harmful to our mental and physical health. But what if this is the wrong perspective?

Thanksgiving table

This TED Talk about how to make stress your friend made us rethink our perspective on stress, and we wanted to share our newfound knowledge with you.

In the talk, Kelly McGonigal shares this study by the University of Wisconsin that tested the effect of the perception of stress on individuals. Long story short, those with high stress who believed stress was harmful to their health…had worsened health and an increased likelihood of death. Those with high stress who didn’t view stress as harmful…had no increased risk of death.

McGonigal also shares that oxytocin, the famous “cuddle hormone,” is actually released as a part of the body’s stress response. It is our body’s way of nudging us to seek connection and support from others during times of stress. This is also reflected in the next study she shares, a study from the American Journal of Public Health. This study revealed that people who had high stress, but spent ample time helping out friends, neighbors, or their community, had zero stress-related increase in dying. In McGonigal’s words, “caring creates resilience.”

Thanksgiving wreath

Moral of the story? Our body wants us to deal with stress by seeking connection.  If this is done, stress is no longer harmful.

You don’t need to eliminate stress, you just need to think about it differently, and cope with it correctly.

Let Healing Hands help you cope with your holiday stress – or any stress – for that matter. Our corporate wellness programs are designed with your physical and mental health in mind.

We don’t just help you disconnect, we also help you reconnect.

And as it turns out, that’s just what the doctor ordered.