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PodcastGood Stress, with Modupe Akinola

Good Stress, with Modupe Akinola

Stress Researcher Modupe Akinola is our guest-host all week! Today, she talks about how some stress is actually good, and how to respond to it in a way that works for you.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Headspace Studios. Hi everyone, I'm Modupe Akinola. Welcome to Radio Headspace and to Monday morning. I'll be guest hosting Radio Headspace this week and I'm so happy to be here. I'm a professor at Columbia Business School, the host of the "Ted Business Podcast", and I'm also a stress researcher. So with that in mind, this week is all about rethinking the way that stress affects us and how we can work with it to actually improve our professional lives. Today, we're gonna talk about how some stress is actually good, and I know realizing and embracing that is easier said than done. So I'm going to share some ways to shift your perspective about stress so you can respond to it in a way that works for you. I think in general, as humans we tend to anchor on the negative stuff that happens to us, it looms larger. So it's a very easy in our culture to think that stress is bad because we can all think about times where we were stressed and the outcome might not have been as ideal as we would've liked. You know, a time when maybe you were supposed to do something like give a speech and you froze and so then each time you think about stress, you think, "I'm gonna freeze, I'm gonna freeze," when that's not always the case 'cause there are situations where we've all been under stress and we've thrived. I study stress partially because I experienced stress and wanted to learn how to be present with my stress in a way that was more helpful. One of the things that stresses me out a lot is not having time to be prepared for something, busy schedule, so much going on that I always feel like I get somewhere and I'm like, "What do I have to do now?" Or whatever. But I often find that sometimes in that lack of preparedness, things come to my mind quicker. The energy that I need is there because I'm kind of under this pressure of, "Wait a minute, do I know what I'm gonna say? Am I gonna say it right? Am I gonna do this right? Is it okay?" So I've learned that wow, sometimes some of my best moments happen when I'm under stress. And in some ways that means that the stress was good for me because it allowed me to rise to the occasion. Sometimes that tight deadline is actually helpful because you can quickly and more efficiently and more effectively do what you need to do once you're under that pressure. So when we get those feelings that we're so overwhelmed, we need to first acknowledge that we're stressed. 'Cause sometimes we're feeling that way and you think, "Are you stressed?" Or someone asked you, "Are you stressed?" And you're like, "No, I'm not stressed." You actually are. So the first step is just acknowledging it and then the next step is welcoming it...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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