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The month of Recommend: The Upside of Stress

By Ishika Arora

Mon., April 11, 2022 | reading time 8 minutes ⏰

Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a psychologist and award-winning teacher, gives a fascinating new perspective on stress, unveiling The Upside of Stress and telling us how to maximize its advantages, based on pioneering research.

Professor Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist at Stanford University and a health educator in the Medical Health Promotion Program. "The science of Autonomy" and "Living Well with Stress," two of her psychology courses for professionals and the general public, are among the most popular in Stanford's continuing education school's history.

As a health psychologist, Dr. Kelly McGonigal's job is to help people manage stress and make positive changes in their lives. Over the years, observing how students control their choices, she realized that many people think self-control prevents us from succeeding. For example, treating self-control as a virtue can derail well-intentioned goals.

Stress causes heart disease; stress causes sleeplessness; stress is terrible for you! You hear it all the time. However, what if shifting your perspective on stress might make you happier, healthier, and more capable of achieving your objectives? Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., combines fascinating new research on resilience and mentality to show that stress is not detrimental; it is harmful when it is experienced while believing that stress is unhealthy. In truth, stress has several advantages, including increased attention and energy and the development of personal connections.

McGonigal teaches readers how to create a stress-tolerant mentality and activate the brain's innate ability to learn from adversity. The Upside of Stress is a toolbox for understanding, accepting, and exploiting stress to your benefit. It's not a guide to getting rid of stress; it's a toolkit for getting better at it.

Student Review:


The Upside of Stress is an excellent book that positively explains stress. It is sometimes misunderstood as a negative aspect in people's efforts to alleviate stress in their lives, yet it can and does play a constructive role. This book caused such a paradigm shift in my thinking. I honestly believe that everyone, or at least everyone who feels they are continuously stressed, should read it. Unlike many self-help stress books, this one focuses on altering how you think about stress rather than eliminating it. Everyone is stressed, and this book will show you how to channel your tension into something that will not shorten your life or create high blood pressure. While reading, I became aware of various aspects of my life that validate McGonigal's findings. I genuinely think that all it takes is an adjustment in perspective to experience less stress in your life and to reap the positive effects of stress.

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