I’ve been busy sharing emcee duties with my dear colleague Adam Lashinsky at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego, Calif today, and we’re both a little stressed.
Luckily, that’s not a bad thing.
In addition to covering the latest disruptions in health care, like how AI is poised to revolutionize health care, what’s next in Parkinson’s disease research with Michael J. Fox, and how drones could play a role in achieving universal health care, we’ve also learned that some stress is helpful.
Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Lisa Damour, shared lessons learned from her research for “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls,” by reassuring us that we can only grow as humans when we’re feeling a little heat.
According to Adam, who was taking notes while I was running around backstage, Damour explained that “stress happens any time humans are operating at the edge of their abilities.”
From his summary:
This includes doing new things like taking on a new project, moving into a new house, and welcoming a baby into your life. Stress, in fact, is a lot like weightlifting. Going through it makes you stronger. But you also can’t be stressed all the time any more than you can lift weights continuously. It’s important for people to restore themselves—to de-stress, in other words—and everyone does that differently.
Says Damour: “If your life is interesting at all you’re going to have stress.”
May we all live in interesting times.
She also offered key learnings from her practice treating anxious teens. More on that here.
I’m about to go back onstage, so do follow along. For more coverage of Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference, click here. And if you want more health care innovation delivered daily to your inbox, subscribe to Fortune’s Brainstorm Health Daily newsletter.
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