Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

Good News Monday: Book ‘Upside of Stress’ Author Kelly McGonigal


Dear Wellness Seekers,

Good News Monday: Book ‘Upside of Stress’ Author Kelly McGonigal makes the case for stress being really, really good for you. That is what a review I came across by Louisa Kamps a reporter for ELLE Magazine purports in her article, “We are Made for These Times”. Every practicing Spanista recognizes this is a important aspect of living that requires mindfulness to manage.

For this Spanista, the subject resonated this weekend as the pace of my life in juggling humanitarian, business and personal activities has escullated from a more manageable as I set in place mindfully, to another level. A couple of years ago I deliberately set to downshift from a uber, fast paced life of ongoing commitments to intense work and travel. I believed to be a high value peak performer you need to think and act like one. And if you love what you do there is a double edged sword hidden inside this way of life. Side one produces POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL OUTCOMES. Side two produces NEGATIVE IMPACT on PHYSIOLOGY. As I study the subject of STRESS through Spanista eyes, my belief is is in partial agreement with Ms. McGonigal. Want to know more? Read on.

The author, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who was “unnerved” by all the startling studies suggesting that, where stress is concerned,  “The effect you expect is the effect you get”. So intrigued she decided to jump into a deep dive into the background and findings. She concludes and argues in her new book that “The best way to manage stress isn’t to reduce or avoid it, but rather to rethink and even embrace it.”


Ms. Kamps reports, ” Dr. Kelly McGonigal presents much evidence that says if you can hang with stress it has many positive effects like fostering psychological resilience by teaching people to identify, and identify with, their own mettle under pressure. In this vein, stress helps people find and create meaning in their lives. It offers greater productivity, enhanced emotional wellbeing and fewer health problems.” You can find the book at

It is however the perception we establish at the start that drives the results – more proof that demonstrates if you set your heart right you can direct mind over manner.

Spanista Takeaway- Good News Monday: Book ‘Upside of Stress’ Author Kelly McGonigal feels while she has a valid point of view that it however has over simplified to one dimension. Spanista believes that the heart, mind and body need to be relieved of the intense impact from prolonged periods of stress. No matter how positive your frame of mind  is about your stress, your body responds experiences residuals effects from pushing too hard for too long. These effects can not be seen but will show up in “wake up call moments” – at this point damage is done and it too late fix it. These are generally life changing moments in some way. Why do they happen? I believe they come about because we ignore our prolonged stress on our bodies.

There have been many benefits from the the stress I experienced in my career and life that align with the books conclusions – but looking back, I wish is would have taken time to give my body relief much earlier – through practices like frequent massage therapy. Insight- Staying in tune the Yin and Yang of living through the Seasons of Spanista is the secret. Thank goodness I did discover the benefits through life changing experiences so I can share the learning with you through Spanista.

So what do you think about Kelly McGonigal’s book?

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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