New science reveals that stress makes us smarter ...

Those of you with children know what September is like. The start of school can be stressful for many students. New classrooms, new teachers, new faces. Trying to get out the door in the morning is hard enough let alone when there are emotional little people to organize. Then there are the bigger little people entering junior high and high school...

How about us big people? We, too, have our own worries for our kids. Will they be happy, will they fit in, will they have friends? Ugh. It can pull at our hearts in ways we never imagined.

However, the new science shows that our level of resilience and mindset can make all of this "stress" work for us rather than against us. It can make us stronger, smarter, healthier and build better relationships.

We need to first hear how our kids are feeling and show empathy. But if we can remind our kids how they have persevered in other uncomfortable situations and ended up finishing further ahead ( new friends, better at a sport/activity after practice etc.) then they can start to look at difficult situations as only temporary and in a more positive light. This is called a Challenge Mindset. Research shows that if we look at stress as a positive challenge rather than a curse, we have a different resulting brain chemistry. This chemistry helps you recover and learn from stress.

Start to notice your stress mindset. Does it motivate or paralyze you? Do you get stressed about stress or use it to learn and grow? Sounds hard...but it can be learned.

About the Author - Jo-Ann Pawliw is a Licensed Stress and Performance Coach. She coaches athletes, executives and leaders using proven research based techniques and strategies to increase resilience and grow a more positive mindset. Jo-Ann also provides Resilience training for corporations, non-profits and schools.

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