His starting line goes like this: “How often do you intentionally push yourself to discomfort?”
A very effective example he provides, explains his position on stress management: “This is easiest to see at the physical level. In the absence of regular cardiovascular exercise — a form of stress — the heart’s ability to efficiently pump blood drops an average of 1 percent a year between the ages of 30 and 70, and faster after that. Likewise, in the absence of strength training — literally pushing weight against resistance — we lose an average of 1 percent of lean muscle mass every year after age 30.” … “The principle is simple, but not entirely intuitive. The harder you push yourself, the more you signal your body to grow. It’s called supercompensation, and the growth actually occurs during recovery. The limiting factor is mostly your tolerance for discomfort.”
In fact research on dementia also says about the brain “use it or lose it”, which is directly related to the famous Latin quotation “mens sana in corpore sano”. However it should also be considered that persistent stress and over-exertion can push you to burnout.
The full text of Tony Schwartz’s post is available at http://www.theenergyproject.com/blog/stress-not-your-enemy
image from http://vistratess.com