If you’re able to quickly shrug off stressful events that may be good for your health. A study found that people who held on to stress those who reported still having negative feelings about a stressful event the day after it happened, had more chronic health problems a decade later.
Researchers analyzed data from a nationwide survey that asked more than 1,100 adults about the number and type of stressful experiences they had each day for eight days. These included everything from arguments with others to problems at work, home, or school. Participants rated their emotional reactions to these stressors at the time and afterward.
The researchers then followed up nearly 10 years later and asked participants about their health and mobility, including whether they suffered from any of 26 different chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and joint or pain conditions, among others. The participants were also asked to rate how much their health interfered with their daily life.
Those who held onto stress fared worse than those who let it go!
The results suggest that holding on to stress may be problematic for your health and learning how to better cope with stress and increase resiliency might be helpful in preventing these problems and protecting your health for the long term.
Source: Harvard Health Publishing
Act to manage stress
If you have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have numerous health benefits. Explore stress management strategies, such as:
- Regular physical activity
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or getting a massage
- Keeping a sense of humor
- Socializing with family and friends
- Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music
Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. Inactive ways you may use to manage stress — such as watching television, surfing the Internet or playing video games — may seem relaxing, but they may increase your stress over the long term.
And be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid tobacco use, excess caffeine and alcohol intake, and the use of illicit substances.
When to seek help
If you’re not sure if stress is the cause or if you’ve taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor. Your doctor may want to check for other potential causes. Or, consider seeing a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.
Also, if you have chest pain, especially if it occurs during physical activity or is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, nausea, or pain radiating into your shoulder and arm, get emergency help immediately. These may be warning signs of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.
As they say, we all have two lives, the second one starts when we realize we only have one…
Which books could help overcome stress and depression?
The good news though, is that this also means there has been plenty written on the subject and it is not hard to come by advice on how to combat that stress. In fact, there are some fantastic books out there all about conquering stress and taking back control of your mind. Check our blog and you will find more topics on this subject!