As a society we often try to find ways to reduce our stress. Mandie Shean, a lecturer at the  School of Education, Edith Cowan University, examines how stress can work to your advantage.

Shean believes that stress is a normal experience when people have a challenging event. People experience stress when learning something new, starting a new job or being in a race.

This “stress” is the body getting us ready to take on the challenge. A stress response is helpful as it can increase oxygen to the brain and improve attention, focus, energy and determination.

She uses a runner in a race as an example. A runner needs to be “stressed” to compete successfully. The young person sitting in an exam room needs it that stress to better prepare themselves for the challenge.

Shean believes that the key difference is turning “stress” into “good stress, by believing that stress is good for us.

“It’ll work for us if we develop a mindset that stress helps our performance, health and well-being (rather than seeing it as debilitating).”

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