Are you stressed?  April is National Stress Awareness month so we thought we would deviate from the usual gross-out post here and actually give you some useful information.

Fear of public speaking tops death and spiders as the nation’s number one phobia. But new research shows that learning to rethink the way we view our shaky hands, pounding heart, and sweaty palms can help people perform better both mentally and physically.

(Obviously we had to bring a spider into this article.)

We had no idea that fear of speaking in public stresses so many people.  We can only imagine the stress a contestant must feel as they walk onto the stage of “The Voice”.  We hope a spider doesn’t crawl across the stage or dangle down from the lights above.

Here is what happens the minute you face a stressful situation.

The body is marshaling resources, pumping more blood to our major muscle groups and delivering more oxygen to our brains.  Our body’s reaction to social stress is the same flight or fight response we produce when confronting physical danger. These physiological responses help us perform, whether we’re facing a bear in the forest or a critical audience or a spider.