BlogStress Management

The Bright Side of Stress

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Modern times are fast-paced and run on pressure, tension and anxiety.

No one argues with the detrimental effects of such mental health state – printed media and internet is booming in regards to the topic, where stress causes and stress management receives a rather explicit attention. Emphasis on the harmful effects in existing research and media coverage is so strong, that once you feel stressed you dive in the pool of negative information. How helpful is that in reducing the stress?

Stress mindset matters: Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have looked at the issue from a slightly different perspective, and came up with surprising findings. 29, 000 people took part in the research aimed at finding out how the perception of stress affects the stress itself. Appears, that people who had reported high levels of stress, and at the same time, believed that it significantly impacts their health, had 43% increased risk of premature death.

Good news is: The participants who acknowledged their stress, but did not believe in its effects, were least likely to die of premature death, in comparison to the rest of the participants. Several other research have supported the claim, which leads to the conclusion – it is important to be aware of one’s stress levels, however, equally important is the way one views it. That leads to the key point.

Stress also can have positive effects on immune system, but they are very often overlooked and ignored. According to BrainImmune, it has been proposed that the transient increases in cortisol in response to stress may be beneficial in combating disease and recovery from surgery.  Although, it is said that, stress can have either enhancing or suppressive effects, most of the benefits are found to relate to acute stress only, where effects include efficacy of vaccination and wound healing, and even resistance to infection and cancer.

Improve learning: Moreover, one research has found that, once again, a moderate stress levels may be the reason for the cell growth in the brain centers responsible for learning. It was not the first time that these conclusions have been drawn, as some studies have analysed animal and even human response to mild, or acute stress levels on their capability to learn.

All in all, there is a common agreement among scientist that chronic stress works in damaging ways. However, from the growing number of research on stress benefits, we can see that not all stress affects the same. It is only acute or mild short-term stress that could potentially have positive effect on your immune system or improve learning capabilities, therefore, one should always be careful not to cross the line.

Have you crossed the line? Stress monitoring is believed by many to be the future of stress prevention, and with advanced use of wearables, the precision and convenience is only set for growth. The potential is huge – from saving doctor and medicine expenses for when the stress becomes chronic, to saving lives in cases where stress is not treated and leads to much worse conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Stress monitoring empowers potential stress victims to take action at the very beginning and stop it with inexpensive methods – meditation, exercise or mindfulness, to mention a few. In such way, stress never crosses the line between acute and long-term, causing only benefits and not damages. And do not forget, stress mindset matters and that is controllable.

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