Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge to become a better you – personally and professionally.


It turns out that mindsets are contagious – and the higher up you are in an organization's hierarchy, or the more people you are a role model to, the more contagious you are. While negative mindsets like stress are contagious, so are positive ones like resilience; positive thinking can put you and your team or family on the road to positive outcomes.

Subscribe to Big Think Edge and you'll learn first-hand from Dr. Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist, Stanford University lecturer and author of "The Upside of Stress", how to model resilience for your direct reports at work, your children, or the people closest to you in your daily life. McGonigal teaches immediately useful ways to prepare for adversity and embrace your influence as a leader.

Master resilience to become a better leader

Kelly McGonigal's lesson "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" is part of Big Think Edge's Become a better leader learning path. Great leaders communicate, inspire, and shape the lives of others without unnecessary turmoil or wasted energy. But the idea that leadership qualities are a birthright rather than the fruits of a long learning process couldn't be more misguided. Leaders aren't born, they're made—by standing on the shoulders of giants such as those you'll meet in our ever-expanding learning path.

Subscribe to Big Think Edge now to build greater resilience and positively influence the people around you.

Yug, age 7, and Alia, age 10, both entered Let Grow's "Independence Challenge" essay contest.

Photos: Courtesy of Let Grow
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • The coronavirus pandemic may have a silver lining: It shows how insanely resourceful kids really are.
  • Let Grow, a non-profit promoting independence as a critical part of childhood, ran an "Independence Challenge" essay contest for kids. Here are a few of the amazing essays that came in.
  • Download Let Grow's free Independence Kit with ideas for kids.
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Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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