Dr. Lisa Damour

“You’re not supposed to feel great all the time. We’re raising a generation that feels stressed about getting stressed.”
April 2019—Dr. Lisa Damour wants parents to rethink their assumptions about the impact of stress. The psychologist and best-selling author spoke to a sold-out audience of 500 Branksome parents, alum and the public, about her book Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. It was the only Canadian stop on her international book tour. 

In the face of increased anxiety among young girls, psychologists argue that the function of stress is to make one more capable and more durable, said Damour, the Executive Director of Laurel School's Center for Research on Girls. “Stress is usually what happens when we’re operating at the edge of our capacities, and when we operate at the edge of our capacities we usually expand our capacities.” 

However, not all stress is healthy, she noted, as “psychologists don’t like chronic stress and we don’t like traumatic stress.” Damour says parents can help their daughters with stress by giving them time to recover. “Your job is not to prevent stress, it’s actually a critical part of her development.” 

She also offered tips on how girls can best take on stress and anxiety, including getting more sleep and interacting less with technology. 

Watch an excerpt from her talk here

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