A Different Way to Understand Stress

Even though stress is pictured and targeted as a big villain in our lives, when in moderation, it can actually be beneficial for our personal growth and development. In the popular press article “”How Some Stress Can Actually Be Good for You from Time Magazine, the author first express that while high chronic stress is associated with health dysfunctions, a certain amount of it can boost our physiology making us stronger and can even protect us against biological processes such as aging and disease. (Selna, 2018).

Next, the same article presents how stress enhances motivation and growth; if looked at in a positive way, it can make us perform better. “”The stress of a deadline can help people focus and pay more attention because time is running out. (Selna, 2018). The need of getting things done provokes a motivation towards completing a task. Growth happens after experiencing some moderate stress in life. After being exposed to stress and surviving it, we get conditioned to not over react towards a negative situation and emotion that we can happen to come across. We become more inclined to tolerate and adapt to life’s difficulties.

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Moreover, the article relates stress as part of promoting bonding and having a more meaningful life. For example, according to the author, “”The things that we are most proud of and bring the most meaning in our lives are hard. (Selna, 2018). In order to achieve fulfilment, we have to go through hardships. As for promoting bonding, the article brings up the idea that stressed people need support and need to reach out for help; therefore, they are more likely to build good and close relationships. The author says, “”People feel better because they can relate to

each other’s struggles and validate their feelings, creating positivity out of a negative experience. (Selna, 2018). Being transparent and opening up to others about personal challenges can make relationships stronger.

Still focusing on the subject of stress and mindset, the scholarly peer-reviewed research article “”Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response by Alia J. Crum, Peter Salovey and Shawn Achor, addresses that everywhere, stress is viewed as a negative subject which is linked to very bad case scenarios, as for example, death, disease, depression, impairments, conflicts and issues. In fact, the article recognizes and does not deny the downside and realistic negative consequences of stress. However, the study in the article is emphasized to question whether this focus on the negative effects of stress is a mindset that may be creating more stress. The research points out that shifting this type of mindset to a “”stress-is-enhancing mindset can be beneficial for personal growth. The author says, “”The experience of stress can enhance the development of mental toughness, heightened awareness, new perspectives, a sense of mastery, strengthened priorities, deeper relationships, greater appreciation for life, and an increased sense of meaningfulness. (p. 717). The scholarly article investigates how the power of mindset can change outcomes resulted from stress.

Stressors are not at all a good thing; as for example, a marriage breakup, the death of a loved one, becoming ill are all negative happenings; however, the experience of going through these stressful times, can improve our capability of growing as a person and moving to a new level of maturity and development. In the scholarly research article, the author concludes, “”The message of this research is ultimately a positive one: eliciting the enhancing aspects of stress (as opposed to merely preventing the debilitating ones) may be, in part, a matter of changing one’s mindset. (p. 729).

After analyzing both articles, the popular press article and the peer-reviewed research article, it can be said that even though they address a similar psychological subject (Stress and Motivation vs. Stress and Mindset), they are greatly different from each other especially when it comes down to the writing styles. In the scholarly research article three studies were conducted under research with participants and variables, data was collected and analyzed through studies, experiments, interviews, graphs, charts and observation. The article follows the structure of a research article (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and reference). There is the existence of very detailed information with a broad analysis of topics; in addition, the article was peer reviewed by an expert in the subject before publication. There is a big list of complete citations. In contrast, the popular press article is a brief writing more likely to be based on opinion, used more for basic information and entertainment and it is easy to understand. Next, when looking for the authors’ background education and experience, we find out that Alia Crum, who wrote the scholarly article, is a researcher and specialist on the field that the journal covers. She has a PhD in Psychology and a postdoctoral degree. On the other hand, Elaine Selna, the author of the popular press article, is a digital producer at Time Magazine. She is not a specialist in the subject and summarizes ideas in an easily understandable writing. The citations are used in an indirect way and the articles are written for a different public.

When analyzing the similarity between the two articles, we can say that they offer an understanding on a new perspective of looking at stress. After further investigating about the topic of stress, plus extensive research and readings, I found the content in both articles to be greatly appreciated and helpful; however, I would benefit from using a popular press article while reading for entertainment or reading about a current event, and I would be better off using a peer-reviewed article when I’m researching for creditable and reliable information about a subject of study or interest, as well as for college researches and assignments.

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