Shifting Your Perspective On Stress

Craig Cooper

Reams of articles and books have been written on stress management, detailing how to reduce or eliminate it from your life, but I think many of them are overrated.

Long-term stress—for example, being on red alert for weeks or months at a time due to a high-pressure work project—is hell on your system. But short-term stress—those bursts of adrenaline we get in situations when we need to spring into action—is an essential part of life. Men need stress to live. Every successful man in history—from Sir Isaac Newton to Steve Jobs—faced stressful situations in which the outcome was in doubt. Many of them faced extreme stress. It’s part of what made them admirable.

And as evil as stress is made out to be in our culture, the fact is that we like stress. Most of our leisure activities—from skiing to mountain biking to watching sports to roller coasters to first-person-shooter video gaming—involve deliberately exposing ourselves to controlled, short-term forms of stress. For the most part, short-term stress is fun.

It’s even good for you: studies indicate that people who have a robust short-term stress response—a pounding heart, a sweaty brow, rapid breathing—heal better after surgery or vaccination, and they may respond better to cancer treatment. Exercise and sex—which are unequivocally good for you—both stimulate a hormonal response similar to what happens when you get charged by an angry pit bull.

One major key to conquering the bad kind of stress—the chronic version that keeps us up at night, distracts us from the things we enjoy most in life, and eats at our gut when we’re trying to relax—is not so much to avoid it altogether but to reframe the way you think about it.

Sound abstract? Let me explain.

All of us have gone through busy periods in which our careers or families (or both) are demanding a lot of us: a big project is due, the boss is breathing down your neck, the house needs a new roof, your mother needs help at home, your son is starting in a playoff game, your wife is asking for a well-deserved night out. (A friend of mine recently joked that in times like these he feels as if every email in his inbox says “Dear Jack: Please do everything. Love, Everyone.”)

Sometimes, those intense periods can make you want to crawl under a rock, leading you to drop the ball under pressure: the project is substandard, you miss the big game, and you fail to make dinner reservations—so you wind up in the doghouse, at work and at home. First you flail, then you fail. Other times, those intense periods have the opposite effect. Like a QB down by a field goal with seconds to play, you cowboy up and handle it, one task at a time, until you’re on the other side of all that stress, with all your obligations signed, sealed, and delivered. And you feel like a superhero.

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CMH Heaven


Best New Reality Adventure Show for 2016 – Cynopsis TV Awards


Some shots by @KevinZacher from my Men’s Health magazine profile (Dec 2016)

Craig Cooper

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Ageist Magazine Profile – Craig Cooper

Craig Cooper


Ageist Profile – click link below:

craig cooper, 53, author, athlete, serial entrepreneur, and advocate for the health of men.

Men’s Health Magazine December 2016 Profile


6 Things I Do First Thing In The Morning For A Stronger and Healthier Day


Craig Cooper

I get asked a lot about my morning routine that I wrote about in my book.

I’ve found that having a set morning routine is fundamental to preparing myself for the events and challenges of the day. What you do (and moreover – what you don’t do) in that period immediately after you wake can put you on a path to a stronger and healthier day.

Here’s 6 things that work for me (in the specific order that I follow immediately on waking): Read More

CNBC Power Lunch Talking About “Adventure Capitalists”


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Media Links – “Adventure Capitalists” on CNBC

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Craig Cooper, host of CNBC’s “Adventure Capitalists,” discusses the show’s premiere, and the nature of entrepreneurship live on CNBC’s “Power Lunch”

“Adventure Capitalists” Season 1, Episode 1 – Mountains and Lakes: (ElectraFin motorized paddleboard, Fusar Technologies integrated helmet communications system, SlingFin tents

Behind the Scenes of Episode 1 of “Adventure Capitalists” (Lakes and Mountain) with Craig Cooper

“Adventure Capitalists” Season 1, Episode 2 – Desert: (Rungu electric bike, Shouldit hydration vest, InstPrivy portable toilet

Behind the Scenes of Episode 2 of “Adventure Capitalists” (Desert) with Craig Cooper

More media links and full episodes for streaming here

It’s Happening! Series Premiere Trailer – “Adventure Capitalists”