Stress is Growth!

Situation: You’re running late for work
Thought: Where are my keys!!!
Action: Palms are sweating and our deodorant is already wearing off
Situation: You’re driving into work on edge weaving lanes getting angry at all the slow drivers with out of state license plates
Action: Deodorant odometer on low and by the time the office arrives the day has gotten a strangle on our emotions
Stress can flat out suck the life out of us.  We even built a $3,400,000,000,000 dollar “Global Wellness” industry to try to get rid of stress and it’s potential side effects.  Putting the zeros in to just see how big that number is sobering and yes it’s $3.4 Trillion dollars.  The industry has a GDP equivalent to Germany!  Despite the many side effects, stress can be a learning experience if we want stress to be.
Where There’s Smoke, an amazing podcast, brought to their studio Dr. Kelly McGonigal a stress researcher.  They had a few major key points which can be summarized
1. There is absolutely no version of ourselves that is going to be able to live a stress free life.
If you know of a completely stress free life let me know! I’d love to hear how you did it.  I guess Ben Franklin was close, but really it’s “Death, Life, Taxes, and Stress”
2. Stress research conducted on mice is used as conclusive evidence of the effects of stress on humans.
We aren’t mice, we are human beings with a lot more to offer than mice.  While mice are extremely resilient they don’t have the human spirit and our intellectual abilities.  Also, if you don’t believe me check out Dr. Kelly’s work she details all the journal research articles.
3.  How we view stress is more important than how much stress we have in our lives.
Wait what? Really? I was shocked when I heard this and keep reading to see how.
When we think stress is bad that put’s us in a feedback loop of:
Stress Stimulus – Running late for work
Negative Thought – So stupid to forget where I put my keys
Reaction – Exhaustion
Resolution – Stress Paralysis
We can view stress as An Opportunity to Grow!
Stress Stimulus – Running late for work
Opportunity to Grow – I have the chance to better organize my apartment
Reaction – Creative solution with heightened focus on growth mindset
Resolution – Feeling accomplished about being a better version of ourselves
Granted some stresses are more complicated and a lot harder to handle.  The brain’s logical progression of thoughts are drastically different if we view stress as an opportunity to grow.
As always keep growing, keep learning, and keep being awesome. It’s your guy Phil Hagerty and I look forward to next time.  If you liked what you read leave us a comment, follow us on the app store, or drop me a message on LinkedIn.  We love to hear from our readers!


  1. I used to perform with a ballet company and consistently my best work was when I performed on stage (as opposed to the studio). I always thought that the stress of the performance heightened my awareness and helped me focus on just my part. Likewise, in college the stress of writing a quality paper tended to make me focus on the revising and editing process more than say the stress free writing in my journal. Great post!


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