The modern world conditions us to avoid stress and discomfort at all costs. Helicopter parenting knows no bounds these days. Instead of preparing our children for a world of uncertainty and complexity, we do the opposite by favoring convenience and comfort.
Without some stress, the potential consequences of recovery from certain life events are even more significant. It's counterproductive and unhealthy because we're conditioned to think that stress equals negativity.
But not all stress is created equal. Chronic stress, derived from life's pressures and anxieties, is indeed harmful and should be avoided. But hormetic stress is good and plays a crucial role in strengthening our psychological and physiological responses to events around us.
Hormetic stress allows you to respond better to every challenge you encounter and respond in an adaptive state. Examples include intermittent fasting, cold water immersion, oxygen restriction, physical exercise, high-altitude training, or heat therapy.
Small stressors in our lives ignite creativity and force us to find solutions outside our comfort zone.
Small fights with your partner strengthen your relationship.
Immersing yourself in an overseas culture is the best way to learn a language.
Repeatedly failing in small iterative experiments trains you to look at things you might not have spotted before.
Changing jobs when you're at the top of your professional game helps you avoid complacency and arrogance.
The absence of minor stressors in life can erode us without us even noticing it - until one day when randomness crosses our path.
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