Monthly Archives: November 2013

Building the Biology of Courage


Stress kills! FACT. It is the number one “proxy killer disease” (Huffingtonpost) because it is the underlying cause of many presenting illnesses. Stress is a silent killer. The physical side-effects of stress mask itself from its victims and leaves the true culprit (ie. stress) to go unnoticed.

We all experience stress in our lives to a certain degree; some more than others. As a PhD student, stress comes with the territory, it’s part of the job description, and it’s just one of the essential ingredients of another day in academia, but I’ve found numerous ways of coping with the stress that academia elicits from me. From exercising obsessively, eating healthily to meditating religiously, stress has become a manageable condition for me but, regardless of the numerous counteractive measures I take in order to prevent or alleviate stress, the consequential effects of stress on mind and body are still a worry. Having read and always being informed about the detrimental effects stress has on one’s health, it was impossible for me to change my mindset about stress until I stumbled across a TED talk titled, “How to Make Stress Your Friend” by Health Psychologist, Kelly McGonigal.

What McGonigal reveals is revolutionarily so I won’t spoil the message she has to give you by discussing it here. I’ll let you watch the video and discover it for yourself in the awe-inspiring manner that I did, but one thing is for sure it will change your attitude to stress and it will help you build the biology of courage to face what life or academia challenges you with. Enjoy! : )

Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend.