Senior Faculty Nick Petrie has studied the ways that stress affects your physical and mental health. In the video below, he explains to fellow Senior Faculty Phil Willburn, 3 ways that stress can hinder your health, happiness, and productivity.

The process of rumination — or thinking about experiences from the past and future and attaching negative emotions to them–is what causes stress. In their book, Work Without Stress: Building a Resilient Mindset for Lasting Success, Nick and Derek Roger explain how it is this process, and not the experiences themselves, that prevents people from building resilience.

  1. Stress Affects Your Health- People that consistently feel stress, frequently ruminate. Over time, constant rumination can lead to heart problems. Another physical toll that stress takes on the body is the release of Cortisol, a steroid hormone that suppresses the immune system, making people experiencing stress much more susceptible to illness. 
  2. Stress Affects Your Attitude- People who are stressed, and frequently ruminating, often verbalize their thoughts. Verbal rumination not only perpetuates the negative emotions they’ve associated with their experiences, it also affects the attitude and resilience of those around them.
  3. Stress Affects Your Productivity- People that spend the majority of their time ruminating are not present. Therefore they struggle with focusing at work, and as a result are often less productive. 

Stress is not a good thing. There is nothing useful about it, and it all starts with rumination. The more that people can be intentional about focusing their attention on the present, and not marinating their thoughts in the past and future, the more resilient they will become. 

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