Kelly McGonigal's stress management speech sees stress in a more positive light. The health psychologist shares a study in which 43% of those who experienced extreme stress had a higher chance of death, but only if they believed that stress was harmful to them. Extrapolating from this statistic, the belief that stress is hurtful is the 15th leading cause of death in the United States ahead of homicide, HIV and AIDS. Essentially, if one can change the way he or she thinks about stress, one can change the way his or her body reacts to stress.
By viewing stress symptoms like a racing heart in a positive light, like the body is preparing you to deal with the situation, it actually has a more positive effect on one's health. Furthermore, oxytocin -- which is known as the cuddle hormone -- is also released in stressful situations. Oxytocin also fine-tunes the brain's social instincts and motivates people to seek support. This means that scientifically, under stress, your body is telling you to share with others.