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Do You Actually Need More Stress?

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There’s a New Yorker cartoon that shows a doctor telling the patient lying in bed, “I don’t think you’re getting enough stress.”

The cartoon is funny because it plays on the idea that stress is bad—how absurd is it that a doctor would prescribe more of it? Why not just offer the patient poison?

But stress—at least in moderate amounts—may not be as harmful as we think. Stress can be beneficial: It focuses

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