What do you think about changing how you look at life stress? How about treating stress as a friend. Stress — as new research suggests– is not fatal as we used to think. One study suggests that it is not the stress but how people view it that contributes to higher or lower rates of illness and mortality.
The study done in the US with adults who were asked about their stress and how they viewed it showed a 43% higher mortality if they viewed stress as something negative. On the other hand, people who viewed stress as a friend in spite of having stress had a lower death rate, similar to non-stressed people. 182,000 people, who died from stress in the eight years of the study, died because they believed that stress was bad for them.
In other words, if you view stress as good for you, you decrease the chance of dying from stress by 43%, similar to the people who have less stress. This study emphasizes my strong belief: “Change your thinking and you will change your life.”
Probably, the most famous person who proved this statement correct was a Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Santiago Roman Cajal (1852-1934), who pioneered in discovering the microscopic structure of the brain, leading to be named by many as the father of modern neuroscience. Dr. Cajal ended up in prison when he was 11 years old. He was well-known for being rude and rebellious. He clashed with almost everyone he knew when he was a young boy. His dad, a physician, being frustrated with him, asked him to apprentice with a barber. During that time, Dr. Cajol realized that if he could change how he thinks, he would really change his life. He even saw that at the cellular level studying human brain cells. Later, science proved that new neuron cells are generated when you study and exercise.
Years ago, I was at a loss in my life. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, but every door I knocked on, the door slammed so hard in my face that I was worried to knock again! Without going into the painful details of what happened, I had to adopt some kind of new thinking to move forward. I decided to focus on my current life for the next three months and how to prepare for all the exams required to apply to graduate school, regardless of the outcome (change your thinking, change your life). I had some people during that time who assured me that my chances of going to the graduate school ranged from zero to null! I assumed they did not believe I had the strength to reach my goal! Every time I heard this statement, I would tell myself that these people didn’t know me, and that I would not think about what was going to happen if I failed.
Interestingly enough, during this journey to graduate school, I met my wife. She told me how much I would flourish and blossom when I went to graduate school. In fact, I was always fascinated when I dated her. It looked that all the obstacles of going to the graduate school disappeared because she believed in me.
I was lucky to change my thinking and as a result I changed my life. I was lucky to meet my wife, and I was lucky to find someone who believed in me, in addition to my parents and my siblings. Well, years later, I achieved the dream of getting my Ph.D. in Microbiology and Cell Molecular Biology. What a goal! What a sense of accomplishment!
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