Stress is unavoidable. But is it always harmful? The latest science offers a surprising new view of stress—one that reveals how stress can enhance well-being, support personal growth, and increase resilience. The research also shows that how we think about and react to stress influences how it affects us. This course will explore what makes stress good for you and what you can do to get good at stress. You will learn how to cultivate a mind-set that helps you thrive under stress, as well as practical strategies for transforming the biology of your stress response in order to improve health and well-being. We will look at how to embrace anxiety, transform adversity into meaning, and use stress as a catalyst for social connection. The science and personal applications that we cover will give you a renewed sense of optimism about your own ability to handle whatever challenges life brings.
This is an online course. While necessarily structured differently from an on-campus classroom course, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online videoconferencing sessions.
This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.
Kelly McGonigal teaches for a wide range of programs at Stanford, including the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Business. In collaboration with CCARE, she has conducted scientific research on the benefits of compassion training. She has received the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford. She is the author of The Upside of Stress and The Willpower Instinct. McGonigal received a PhD in psychology from Stanford.