Surprising Ways Stress Improves Your English Fluency Ep 730

An illustration of someone experiencing stress. Boost your English fluency through engaging topics.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3459 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 18 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 13.5 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

English Speaking Practice: Is Stress Crushing You Or Crafting You?

Stressed about stress? 🌟 Uncover the silver lining with today’s lesson. Discover how stress, the beast lurking in your day-to-day life, isn’t all bad. While you use our Listen & Learn approach to improving your spoken English fluency.

Transform Stress into Strength with Adept English!

  • Push Your English Skills through intriguing lessons on stress & resilience.
  • Boost Vocabulary & Fluency while discovering stress's positive side.
  • Practical Tips for stress management & psychological self-development.
  • Immerse in British Culture for language learning that sticks.

✔Lesson transcript:

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.
⭐ Lena Horne

Learning about stress in today's English lesson is all about helping you speak English fluently. While you learn about stress's nuances, we are preparing you for everyday conversations.

It's like training for a marathon by running daily, each of our Listen & Learn lessons builds up your linguistic stamina.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
⭐ William James

So if you are feeling stressed! Turn it into strength and improve your fluency in English. Join us today and have fun while you improve your English language skills. This is just one of our hundreds of podcasts, on Spotify, Apple or YouTube. #EnglishLearning #Resilience

More About This Lesson

Learn how to turn stress into a powerful tool that helps you grow stronger and speak English more fluently. We'll show you that stress isn't something to fear but something that can help you thrive.

Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.
⭐ Natalie Goldberg

Here are the main things you'll take away from this lesson:

  1. Improves understanding: You grasp complex topics in English, enhancing comprehension.
  2. Increases fluency: Regular listening sharpens speaking skills.
  3. Encourages resilience: Discussing stress helps you cope better.
  4. Expands vocabulary: Learn words like "resilience" in context.
  5. Cultivates listening habits: Immersion through daily practice.
  6. Offers practical examples: Relates stress to real-life scenarios.
  7. Differentiates stress types: Learn positive vs. negative stress.
  8. Promotes self-reflection: Encourages thinking about your stress levels.
  9. Improves pronunciation: Mimic to enhance your accent.
  10. Prepares for exams: Builds capacity to handle stressful situations.

Lot's of great benefits.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
⭐ Theodore Roosevelt

Why is this lesson stress good for your English? Because:

  • Understanding stress can make you a more confident English speaker.
  • It's like training for a marathon; practising a little every day builds your strength.
  • Stress isn't all bad. The right kind of stress can boost your brain's learning capabilities.
  • Learning to manage stress is a skill that will help you in all areas of life, not just language learning.

Ready to transform your approach to stress and improve your English fluency? Subscribe and follow our podcasts. Dive into our lessons and start your journey to becoming more resilient and fluent in English. Join Adept English today, and let's grow together!

Discover how stress can be good for you! Listen on our Spotify or watch on YouTube. Grow with us at #LearnEnglish #StressManagement

Frequently Asked Questions - Stress & English Fluency

Stress in learning English is like navigating a ship through stormy seas; it tests and strengthens your skills, guiding you to the calm waters of fluency and resilience.

  1. What is stress and is it always bad? Stress is the feeling we get when we are under pressure. It's not always negative; in fact, managing stress positively can build resilience, making us stronger and more adaptable. This resilience is crucial for tackling challenges, including those involved in learning a new language like English.
  2. How can stress improve my English fluency? Listening to English content that discusses real-life issues, such as stress management, can significantly enhance your fluency. It does so by exposing you to complex vocabulary and sentence structures in a context you can relate to, which mirrors the natural way we acquire our first language.
  3. What are some positive effects of stress? Positive stress, or eustress, can exhilarate us, like the thrill of a roller coaster or the satisfaction from overcoming a challenge. This kind of stress can motivate us to excel and thrive in various situations, including learning English, by pushing us to extend our limits and grow.
  4. How does identifying the source of my stress help me? Knowing the cause of your stress is the first step to managing it effectively. By identifying whether your stress is a "mountain" or just a "stone in your shoe," you can adopt strategies to address it, whether through soothing activities or by seeking positive stress that leads to growth and learning.
  5. Can stress management techniques improve my learning process? Absolutely. Techniques for managing stress not only improve your well-being but also enhance your learning capacity. By becoming more resilient, you're better equipped to handle the challenges of learning English, stay motivated, and use stress as a tool for improvement rather than a barrier.

Most Unusual Words:

  • STRESS: When you feel a lot of pressure.
  • RESILIENCE: Being strong and able to handle difficult situations well.
  • IMMERSION: Learning something deeply by surrounding yourself with it, especially a language.
  • AGGRAVATION: Making something worse or more annoying.
  • SOOTHING: Something that makes you feel calm and relaxed.
  • KNIT: To make clothes or other items by connecting wool or another type of thread into rows.
  • CHRONICALLY: Happening for a long time or happening again and again.
  • ABSEIL: To go down a steep cliff or a wall by moving down a rope.
  • THRIVE: To do very well or to grow strong and healthy.
  • BUZZWORD: A word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: Surprising Ways Stress Improves Your English Fluency

Building Resilience: Can stress be your teacher?

Hi there. Today let’s use this English lesson to talk about stress. That’s ‘stress’, STRESS and it means when we are ‘under pressure’. Let’s explore how facing and managing stress can build resilience, making you stronger and more adaptable in the face of challenges. We say in English ‘I’m stressed about this’ or ‘I’m stressed out’. Or that journey was so stressful. But I was reading an article this week which talked about the way in which stress can actually be good for us. There’s so much discussion about how stress and its negative effect, it was interesting to read about it from a different viewpoint.


An AI image of a super stressed out woman. Immerse in English daily with our podcasts.

©️ Adept English 2024

Ask yourself ‘How much stress do I face daily?’ Is it a mountain of stress that feels overwhelming, too much or just a stone in your shoe? Identifying the source of your stress is the first step. But here's the interesting part: not all stress is bad. Stick around to hear some ideas on how stress might be operating positively or negatively in your life. So it’s a psychological, ‘self-development’ topic this week. But listening to this - especially if you listen a few times until you understand it all - will increase your fluency in understanding and lead to greater fluency when you come to speak English. Interesting topics leading to English language fluency - that’s what we’re all about at Adept English.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Dive in, immerse yourself in English with Adept English

Also at Adept English, we believe in learning through ‘immersion’, IMMERSION. That means listening most days to English and making your listening part of your everyday life. Picture this: hundreds of podcasts at your fingertips, waiting to take you away into stories and lessons, all while you're on the move. That's what’s waiting for you at

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Have you ever shouted to relieve stress?

Sometimes it’s hard to see the upside of certain stresses. I had a stressful day last Friday. I was dealing with an organisation, a business I work with and renewing a contract. This was stressful in itself as that organisation is particularly difficult to deal with. But then in order to do this renewal, I also had to deal with my online bank. My ‘entirely online’ bank is fine most of the time. Until something goes wrong - then it’s horrific. There is no telephone number, only an online chat, which is slow, tedious and has never yet helped me to resolve an issue. I’ve always had to solve the problem in another way.

So I got stressed. Partly annoyance, because this is a repeating situation, dealing with these two organisations, which have frustrated me before. Both organisations treat their customers badly. It’s more like ‘customer aggravation’ than ‘customer care’ or ‘customer service’! This annoys me at the moment and it also frustrates me as I think this as a more general wrong. Post COVID pandemic, organisations just treat their customers and those they serve badly. And when I’m stressed, as my family would tell you, I shout a bit and sometimes have been known to swear, that’s SWEAR - ‘to let off steam verbally’, as we say!

Knitting: The ultimate stress-buster?

So this kind of stress, doesn’t seem to have much point to it. There doesn’t seem the be an upside. Maybe I need to learn to handle this differently, anticipate it, not care so much perhaps. What I did however, was be aware of the stress in my body afterwards - so I did some activities afterwards which I find soothing. The word ‘soothing’ is an adjective, SOOTHING and if something is ‘soothing’, it calms us down, it de-stresses us. So soothing activities may be going for a walk, taking a shower, reading a book, speaking to a friend. Rather strangely, I find knitting to be a soothing activity that works really well for me! That’s ‘to knit’, KNIT. So yes, you heard right, knitting! Surprising, isn't it? But it works wonders for me as my ‘soothing activity’!

But what kind of stress are we talking about then, when it’s positive? And how can we tell positive from negative stress?

What does negative stress look like?

The negative side of stress is perhaps easier to answer. If you live in a chronically stressful situation - ‘chronically’, CHRONICALLY means ‘going on for a long time’, where you’re in ‘fight or flight’ for a lot of the time. This has a negative effect on the systems of the body. This might come from the circumstances that you live in. If you live in a neighbourhood, where there is the constant fear of being attacked, then of course this is stressful - and it’s chronic stress of the worst kind. You might be in an abusive relationship. You might have a terrible boss, who bullies you. Stressful situations like these which are perhaps even traumatising, which threaten our safety - this is not the good type of stress.

Stress that thrills us?

But actually stress that is momentarily - that makes our hearts race and is more immediate, but then is resolved - can actually be good for us. If the source of the stress isn’t part of a broader picture where we feel under threat. And if at some level we are choosing the stress, the effect on our bodies is more like ‘exercising it’. Certain types of stress can be enjoyable. Think about the excitement, the exhilaration that we feel if we go on a roller coaster, abseiling or a parachute jump? A ‘roller coaster’ - that’s a fairground ride - like you might have at Alton Towers in the UK - or at Disneyland Florida. Abseiling? ‘To abseil’, ABSEIL is when you dangle on a rope off the edge of a cliff. And a ‘parachute jump’? Fancy jumping out of a plane attached to a large piece of silk fabric to prevent you crashing to earth?! These activities thrill people and are known for giving us ‘a high’. That last one, I’ll bow out of though - I am way too ‘chicken’ to ever do a parachute jump - that’s not for me! But what about the stress we feel when we watch a horror movie ) that scares us. Or my choice of type of film or series, the stress when we watch a thriller, that’s THRILLER - a series or a film where you are on the edge of your seat, ‘What is going to happen next?!’ Stress that we purposefully seek in a situation where actually we’re ‘safe’ - that can be something that gives us great pleasure.

Physical stress to improve our health?

And in fact, often when we do physical exercise, we’re putting our bodies under physical stress. We run so that we get out of breath, we cycle until we sweat. If we’re doing cardio exercise, CARDIO we’re purposefully raising our heart rate. If we push weights, we are consciously testing and stressing our muscles. We also stress our bodies when we fast - but fasting is thought to be good for us. By visiting greater extremes, by forcing ourselves to do more than is comfortable, we strengthen ourselves. Pushing the body towards its limits can have benefits - especially where it’s intentional, we’re in charge. Running because you’re choosing to exercise is very different from running because someone is pursuing you to attack you in a dark street!

Exam stress - are you scared of exams?

It’s the same with exam stress. Having an exam and wanting to do well, gives extra momentum, extra energy to your studying. There may be moments of stress - but as long as it doesn’t reach the point of being too much, ‘traumatising’, then there is probably a positive outcome. And we learn from these stressful situations - we learn resilience from being tested like this. During the COVID pandemic, some students studying GCSE or A Level in the UK, didn’t sit exams. They were assessed instead on their coursework alone. It was understandable at the time. But some of this generation of students later on are having difficulty handling stress on their university courses. They’ve not practised. They’ve not had enough opportunity to grow their capacity, their strategies for handling stress - or doing exams. Stress, in these contexts, can propel us forward, pushing us to excel and thrive. It's all about finding that ‘sweet spot’ where stress challenges us just enough to grow.

Or does stress fuel your success?

There are people in a work context, who thrive on stress. ‘To thrive’, THRIVE means ‘to do well on something’. Again the reason for the stress, the meaning of it matters, it determines whether it’s positive or negative. If you’re stressed because there’s a lot of work and your project is about to go live, or the event that you’ve been planning for months is about to happen, then maybe that’s OK. It depends on whether the expectations on us are reasonable. If they’re unreasonable and too much, we suffer negative stress. But if the expectations of you in your job role are reasonable, doable, this can be a good type of stress. A type of stress which makes work interesting and which pushes us to do more, function better, to learn. It’s almost as though by experiencing stress and practising how to deal with it, we prime our bodies and our minds. We’re capable of more, we’re more resilient. ‘Resilience’, RESILIENCE and the adjective ‘resilient’ - mean that you are strong, you can withstand stress and pressure. You keep going - you don’t ‘go to pieces’ as we say in English, under pressure.

An abused word

Be wary though. ‘Resilience’ is such a buzzword in workplace English - and one that’s misused. It’s sometimes used where employees are being put under too much pressure, unreasonable pressure. And then, when there’s a problem, employees are told that they ‘need to be more resilient’. The problem must be theirs, not that of the organisation. I think that organisations that employ people have a duty to not overload people and to actually listen when a member of staff says ‘It’s too much!’

Quick Goodbyes-Short And Sweet Ways To Say Goodbye

Practise your English with a more difficult quote?

Now to practise a greater level of fluency and more complicated English, here is a quote from someone who researches stress. The person is called Assaf Oshri, who is professor of human development and family science at the University of Georgia. He says ‘Resilience is a process. It’s not a trait. It emerges from your interactions with the environment. If people aren’t exposed to any stress’, he says, ‘They may not build up that resilience muscle. If they’re exposed to too much—or to particularly traumatic forms, like abuse or discrimination—their well-being may suffer. But there seems to be a sweet spot in between, where stress fortifies psychological health and helps people bounce back from difficult situations. Exactly where that sweet spot is may vary from person to person’, Oshri says.

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So stress. Think about your life. Think about the amount of stress you experience in your life. Where does it come from? When does it happen? Is it too much, too little or just right? And is it positive stress that leads to self-improvement? Or negative stress, which is doing you damage? Hopefully that’s something to think about!


Don’t forget - use this podcast to practise your English, that’s what it’s for. Listen a number of times - and once you can understand all of it, you’re really understanding quite a high level of English.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
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