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Cognitive Reframing: Understanding Types of Stress

Hello Stress, I love you.


Today, we’re embracing stress. We know what you’re thinking, and it’s something along the lines of “WHAT!? NOOOO!” But trust us for a minute. One of the most important parts of managing stress, is identifying it. There are two types of stress we experience on a regular basis, one is acute stress (which is episodic) and the other is chronic stress (which is prolonged). Chronic stress has all the nasty side effects, while acute stress when it can be harnessed is actually good. It’s motivating and empowering. It helps you achieve physical or mental feats beyond what you thought possible!
Once you can tell the difference between what kind of stress you’re experiencing, you can begin to shift it to be more beneficial.

It's science

  • While chronic stress is harmful, stress can be seen in a positive light as it: focuses attention, heightens the senses, increases energy and motivation, dampens fear, and encourages social behaviors.
  • New research is now challenging the “stress is bad” presumption, suggesting that stress only has negative health consequences if people believe it will.
  • Conversely, people that have a “stress is good” belief system do not suffer negative health outcomes even if they experience high levels of stress.

Where should you start?

Take this simple quiz to understand what your current stress mindset is:
Choose from the below options to answer each question.
1  Strongly Disagree   2 Disagree   3 Neither Agree nor Disagree 
4 Agree  5 Strongly Agree
  1. The effects of stress are negative and should be avoided.
  2. Experiencing stress facilitates my learning and growth.
  3. Experiencing stress depletes my health and vitality.
  4. Experiencing stress enhances my performance and productivity.
  5. Experiencing stress inhibits my learning and growth.
  6. Experiencing stress improves my health and vitality.
  7. Experiencing stress debilitates my performance and productivity.
  8. The effects of stress are positive and should be utilized.


Extra credit

Try creating a stress journal. For the duration of today, write down every time you feel stress, and identify the mental and physical effects you’re experiencing. Then try thinking about what kind of stress they’re associated with. Are they nerves/excitement or are they based in fear?
Check out the following videos or books about reframing the stress you felt throughout the day. 📺 Reframing Stress, 📺 Ted Talk

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