Chasing Meaning

Why Stress is Good for You

Rodin & Renoir by Frank M. Rafik, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Image: Rodin & Renoir by Frank M. Rafik, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Psychologist Kelly McGonical explains in her TED Talk why stress can be good for you. In her final remarks she recommends to “chase meaning in your life and accept the stress that comes with it.”

McGonical, game theorist Jane McGonical’s twin sister, may be referring to wisdom from Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy. In Frankl’s bestseller book Man’s Search for Meaning (in German, …trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen!), the Auschwitz-survivor explains the impact of such a horrible experience on human beings.

According to Frankl, having a sense of meaning is the true anti-dote to depression, or even suicide, and a tool for survival under extreme circumstances. Meaning can be found through:

  • creating something;
  • experiencing something (or someone);
  • one’s attitude in the face of unchangeable events.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”—Viktor E. Frankl

It takes effort to find meaning and the stress that goes with it is good for you.

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Chasing Meaning by Mathijs Koenraadt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.