From the Blog

Why perception of stress matters much more than you think

Did you know that your perception of stress has real health implications?


We didn't — until last week when we heard a talk from Limeade behavior change advisor Stacy Shaw Welch, PhD. No one knows stress better than Stacy. As Executive Clinical Director of EBTCS and Director of the Anxiety Center, Stacy works with patients and is always on top of the latest stress research. While we like to think of ourselves as experts on stress as well, we couldn't wait to share three new things we learned. 

  1. Your perception of your own stress makes a huge difference. And we have hard data to back it up. If you think your stress is having a huge impact on your health, it likely is. In a study of 180+ million adults, individuals who perceived that stress affects their health and reported a large amount of stress had an increased risk of premature death. The good news? You can control this! By changing your perception of a stressful event to a learning experience, or even a new challenge, you'll avert long-term health effects.
  2. When evaluating your stress, distinguish between daily hassles and life events. You may chalk up your commute or stressful morning routine to something you just have to deal with. But these small stressors over time really add up. It's important to think about the daily hassles that put stress on your life and try to eliminate or change as many as possible.
  3. Coping with stress is individual. Think about the last time you were stressed. What helped YOU? Was it a run? Was it a massage? A yoga class? Venting to a friend? Develop a list of coping mechanisms that work specifically for you. Use this list to optimize your plan of attack next time you're feeling stressed.

Need help dealing with stress? Check out our additional resources below.

Stress resources