How To Make Stress Your Friend!

Stressing about school? Work? Family? Don’t feel like you can handle the stress of all that life is throwing at you any more? There are ways that you can take stress and turn it to a positive or find a way to relieve that stress. A lot of people like to head to the gym and work out their stress, but there are times that just does not cut it.The minute you walk out the door of the gym..bam! It is back and all you can think about. Kelly McGonigal has some ways that might be worth trying.

Some of you might be thinking “I’ve heard all the psychologists tell their different ways to make my life better, why is she any different?” Sadly, she might not be any different, but we all process stress differently and so we all need different opinions and ideas on how to deal with stress. One person might find that going to the gym to work out for an hour makes it all better, but can you just drop whatever you are doing such as work, school, or kids to head off to the gym whenever you want? No most of us can’t tell our boss “well I’m feeling very stressed right now so I’m going to go to the gym for an hour and I’ll be back.” I’m pretty sure if I said that to my boss he’d give me a look like I was crazy for thinking that was an option and wonder why I can’t wait to do that till after my shift is over. McGonigal has some different ways to help a person cope with stress in the moment.

First off I like how McGonigal flat-out says that she has been causing more harm than good when it comes to stress. There are not a lot of people, let alone psychologists, who like to admit they have been wrong about anything. She expands to explain why she was wrong and going about helping people cope with stress by telling them it was harmful to a person’s health instead of trying to change their mind about it. McGonigal no longer wants to help a person cope with stress, but find ways to make you better at stress.

I find this approach appealing because everything out there talks about how bad stress is for a person, the millions of ways to cope and relieve stress, and so much more, but none of them want to make you better at stress. There is no sure-fire way to deal with stress or get rid of it so why not try to understand stress better to make yourself better at dealing with stress. Stress is just another challenge in life and being able to remember in times of stress that you can make your mind think of stress as another hurdle or challenge to get over can create a reaction where your body believes your mind.

I don’t think this is something that a person can create over night. You can’t snap your fingers and all of a sudden every time you are stressed out you think about jumping over a hurdle, but with practice I believe a person can change their mind about stress and have a healthier response to stress. I’ve been trying to do this and from my experience it does take time to change how you handle stress, but it can be done. This is another thing that someone can do to make their life happier because a happy person is more productive than a stressed out worn down person. We believe in a lot of things so why not add believing that you can change the way stress is viewed and change the way your mind and body respond to it for a healthier life.

Works Cited

“Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend.” YouTube. Web. 15 June 2014. <>.


Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce

Malcolm Gladwell is a writer for The New Yorker and the author of four books (Gladwell). He also does a lot of public speaking to promote his books and below is one that he did about his book The Tipping Point. The name itself is enough to intrigue me to watch it and see what he could possibly mean with putting choice, happiness, and spaghetti sauce in a sentence together.

Gladwell may not have the appearance of a great speaker and I would not categorize him as a great speaker, but he does talk about topics in a way that keep his audience listening. When he talks to an audience he makes sure to keep them engaged with eye contact and his knowledge on the subject. Those things are important and a big part of the reason he does so well with his career. To me, someone who can talk about spaghetti sauce for 18 minute and make it interesting while throwing in a life lesson has a valid point.

Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce starts with Gladwell delving into a short history of spaghetti sauce and ends with a lesson in choice and happiness. Like many in the food industry who try to make the perfect drink or food are concentrating too much on one thing (food, drink) instead of drinks or foods. We are all different and will not have the same choice or pursuit of happiness so we need to look for our own choices and happiness to fulfill our lives. We may not always know what we want just like we do not know what sort of spaghetti sauce would make our spaghetti better to eat. There are no good choices or bad choices only different choices that different people make during their lives. Embracing diversity is the true way to happiness (“Malcolm”).

Now, this is only my perspective on the speech and that is the great thing about perspective, we are all allowed to have our own. Some of you might not like it and think that it was completely idiotic with no direction or actual meaning. Others might think that it was a decent speech with some valid points and it was worth watching, but not something that is worth using in your life. I take away from it that it has a lot of valid points and that using spaghetti sauce to prove his point was very creative and a great take on choice and happiness.


Works Cited

Gladwell, Malcolm. “” Web. 28 May 2014. <>.

“Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce.” YouTube. Web. 30 May 2014. <>.

Cold Shower Therapy

Cold Shower Therapy….just seeing that words does not sound like this would be something fun or worth trying. I mean, who in their right mind hops into the shower and decides to turn the knob to freezing cold water. How can that possibly be fun or have any benefits what so every to a person. Joel Runyon has a few words to say about this that might help you understand that a cold shower every now and then, even if only for five minutes, is not such a bad idea.

Now some of you might still be thinking “Cold water? Really? I’m still not convinced this would be any fun or something I want to try.” Colder water might be nice during hotter months, but not so much during colder ones. Before you think this challenge is absolutely crazy and only an insane person would do it look at some of the benefits. According to author of Health20, Alexa Fleckenstein, MD there are 21 health benefits of a cold shower besides washing away dirt, old skin cells, and bacteria (“Cold”, 2010). Cold water showers can:

  • Enhance immunity against infections and cancer
  • Give the glands (thyroid, adrenals, ovaries/testes) a boost, improving hormonal activity
  • Jump-start mood and motivation
  • Crank up metabolism to fight type 2 diabetes, obesity, gout, rheumatic disease, depression, and more
  • Normalize blood pressure
  • Decrease chronic pain
  • Train and improve blood circulation
  • Detoxify the body
  • Fight fatigue
  • Strengthen exhausted, irritable nerves
  • Rejuvenate, heal, and tone the skin
  • Deepen breathing
  • Help with insomnia
  • Improve kidney function
  • Reduce swelling and edema
  • Improve lymphatic circulation, thereby increasing immune function
  • Reduce stress by regulating autonomic nervous system
  • Regulate temperature, fighting chronically cold hands, cold feet, and excessive sweating
  • Keep hair healthy
  • Improve hemorrhoids and varicose veins
  • Reduce aches and pains (“Cold, 2010)

I have not completed this whole challenge the entire way through, but I can say that I did feel some of the benefits. I did the challenge for about 2 weeks and won’t even sugar coat it…It was pure torture standing in cold water for 5 minutes and I had to force myself to do it. However, after finally warming up I felt more alert and found myself less tired throughout the day. I have a few friends who have completed the challenge the whole way through and they say it transformed their life and made them think differently about what they did throughout the day.

Googling cold water challenge brings up a lot of different positive stories about people who have crushed the 30 day cold shower challenge. The way I see it is that you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot and seeing if it really does anything to transform your life. I suggest doing your normal shower routine the night before and then the cold water challenge the next morning as a way to revive yourself for the day. What harm can 30 days of showering with cold water for 5 minutes do? I’m going to say that it won’t harm you at all and it would be worth it to try and see if any of the health benefits listed above happen. The worst that can happen is that you hate it and decide it is not something for you, which is fine, but least you gave it a shot. If you complete the whole 30 day challenge how great would it feel to be able to pass on your story about how it changed you.

Works Cited

“Cold Showers The Definitive Guide To Cold Water Therapy.” Cold Showers RSS. 13 Apr. 2010. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

“Cold Shower Therapy: Joel Runyon at TEDxLUC.” YouTube. Web. 18 May 2014. <>.