There is a tendency to think of stress as nothing but bad. But health psychologist, lecturer at Stanford University, fitness instructor and meditation teacher Dr. Kelly McGonigal, PhD will tell you otherwise.
There is good stress from which your body, and in particular your brain, learns and grows – aided by the neurosteroid DHEA (sort of the same idea as those jocks using illegal steroids to grow big muscles).
“For several hours after you have a strong stress response” (to something like a job interview, argument with a workmate, turbulent flight, getting stuck in traffic) “the brain is rewiring itself to remember and learn from the experience” she notes – so called Stress inoculation.
You can encourage this inoculation by choosing a more positive mindset toward stress. Make a conscious choice to view it as positive and an opportunity to learn and grow.
It seems to me Dr McGonigal’s findings are a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. Once you know stress can do you good, it’s much easier to see it as positive.