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Making Friends With Stress

November 7, 2013

For years I’ve been talking about making friends with uncomfortable feelings.  Because when we resist them they just grow with all that attention.  Now there’s research to back that up!

Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk on stress substantiates something that doesn’t necessarily make sense at first blush, but with consideration makes all the sense in the world.  And it is this:  stress will only make you sick if you believe it will make you sick.  And like any uncomfortable feeling,  it’s how you respond to stress, not the fact that you have it, that’s the problem.

So click here for a talk that will not only substantiate the truth that what you believe is often what you get, it will give you a way to frame stress so that it can work in your best interest!

I had huge child care challenges when I was raising my son, so one of my solutions was to brainwash him once he got past the chronic ear infection stage and was old enough to communicate and understand.  I talked frequently about the fact that in our family we just didn’t seem to get sick.  That for some weird reason we had constitutions that just didn’t succumb to colds or the flu.  And guess what!?  Ry had some allergies when he moved into his teens, but I literally don’t remember him staying home from school with a cold or the flu.  I’m sure he did at one time or another, but it wasn’t often.

Anyway, my point is not to say that if you never get a cold that means something good about you and that you’re doing something wrong if you do get one!  The reality is that I don’t often get colds or the flu but I’ve got a spine that’s sort of crumbly and I had breast cancer—so I’m not setting myself up as an example of someone who’s got the secret to physical wellness and long life figured out!!

My point is that our minds are so amazing and miraculous that they will sometimes help us create exactly what we expect.

So I hope you’ll listen to Kelly’s TED talk.  It’s kind of brilliant.


  1. Julie Collins says:

    Robyn, I always enjoy your emails but don’t take time to say so. Thanks so much for sharing your always-honest and helpful insights. I especially enjoyed Kelly’s TED talk and would like to think that sharing my gratitude with you just benefitted both of our oxytocin levels. 🙂 Best, Julie

    • Robyn says:

      Thanks, Julie. Just before this came in I was feeling lonely. And I had the thought that at any moment I could choose what I would do about it. I could sit and ruminate about it and grow it, or I could own it and then take a step to connect with someone I care about. And then your comment came in. Go figure 🙂 Robyn

  2. Cricket says:

    Your blog also underscores for me the power of perspective, and our ability to choose how we see our circumstances. Can we see opportunity in challenge?
    Thanks Robyn, for your insights and wisdom!

    • Robyn says:

      Thank you! Love the idea that we have a choice to see a challenge as an opportunity. And that’s not to take away from the fact that although that shift can happen in a second, it can also sometimes take a while to see that there even is a choice. Either way, the choice waits for us. Robyn

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