Stress is your friend: this is the big idea of an extremely popular 2013 TED talk by Kelly McGonigal, and the book that inevitably followed it. Supposedly you are insulated from the health consequences of stress and anxiety if you just reframe it as a healthy response to a challenge. It’s nonsense on many levels, basically extravagant overinterpretation of a research artifact, as many critics have explained, but “a lie gets halfway around the world before truth puts on its boots.” McGonigal’s talk has become one of the classic examples of the empty sensationalism of so many TED talks.
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