Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Can Form 5495 Minimizing

Instructions and Help about Can Form 5495 Minimizing

I have a confession to make but first I want you to make a little confession to me in the past year would you just raise your hand if you've experienced relatively little stress anyone hmm how about a moderate amount of stress who's experienced a lot of stress yeah me too but that is not my confession my confession is this I am the health psychologist and my mission is to help people be happier and healthier but I fear that something I've been teaching for the last 10 years is doing more harm than good and it has to do with stress for years I've been telling people stress makes you sick it increases the risk of everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease basically I've turned stress into the enemy but I've changed my mind about stress and today I want to change yours let me start with the study that made me rethink my whole approach to stress this study tracked 30,000 adults in the United States for eight years and they started by asking people how much stress have you experienced in the last year they also asked do you believe that stress is harmful for your health and then they use public death records to find out who died okay some bad news first people who experience a lot of stress in the previous year had a 43% increased risk of dying but that was only true for the people who also believed that stress is harmful for your health people who experience a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die in fact they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study including people who had relatively little stress now the researchers estimated that over the eight years they were tracking deaths one hundred and eighty-two thousand Americans died prematurely not from stress but from the belief that stress is bad for you that is over 20,000 deaths a year now if that estimate is correct that would make believing stress is bad for you the 15th largest cause of death in the United States last year killing more people than skin cancer hiv/aids and homicide you can see why the study freaked me out here I've been spending so much energy telling people stress is bad for your health so this study got me wondering can changing how you think about stress make you healthier and here the science says yes when you change your mind about stress you can change your body's response to stress now to explain how this works I want you all to pretend that you are participants in a study designed to stress you out it's called the social stress test you come into the laboratory and you're told you have to give a five minute impromptu speech on your personal weaknesses to a panel of expert evaluators sitting right in front of you and to make sure you feel the pressure there are bright lights and a camera in your face kind of like this and the evaluators have been trained to give you discouraging nonverbal feedback like this now that you're sufficiently demoralized time for part two a math test and unbeknownst to you the experimenter has been trained to harass you during it now we're gonna all do this together it's gonna be fun for me okay I want you all to count backwards from 996 in increments of seven you're gonna do this out loud as fast as you can starting with 996 go go faster faster please you're going too slow stop stop stop stop that guy made a mistake we're gonna have to start all over again you're not very good at this are you okay so you get the idea now if you were actually in this study you'd probably be a little stressed out your heart might be pounding you might be breathing fast or maybe breaking out into a sweat and normally we interpret these physical changes as anxiety or signs that we aren't coping very well with the pressure but what have you viewed them instead as signs that your body was energized was preparing you to meet this challenge now that is exactly what participants were told in a study conducted at Harvard University before they went through the social stress tests they were taught to rethink their stress response as helpful that pounding heart is preparing you for action if you're breathing faster it's no problem it's getting more oxygen to your brain and participants who learned to view the stress response as helpful for their performance well they were less stressed out less anxious more confident but the most fascinating finding to me was how their physical stress response changed now in a typical stress response your heart rate goes up and your blood vessels constrict like this and this is one of the reasons that chronic stress is sometimes associated with cardiovascular disease it's not really healthy to be in this state all the time but in the study when participants viewed their stress response as helpful their blood vessel stayed relaxed like this their heart was still pounding but this is a much healthier cardiovascular profile it actually looks a lot like what happens in moments of joy and courage over a lifetime of stressful experiences this one biological change could be the difference between a stress-induced heart attack at age 50 and living well into your 90s and this is really what the new science of stress reveals but how you think about stress matters so my goal as a health psychologist has changed I no longer want to get rid of your stress I want to make you better at stress and we just did a little intervention if you raise your hand and said you'd had a lot of stress in the last year we could