Reactions to Everyday Stress Can Predict Your Future Health

A recent study done by researchers at Penn State conclude that the way people react to everyday stressors determine whether they will suffer future health consequences.

According to David Almeida, professor of human development and family studies,  the way we handle everyday stress plays an important role on our future health. “Our research shows that how you react to what happens in your life today predicts your chronic health 10 years in the future, independent of your current health and future stress”. The researchers found that people who are more prone to become upset by daily stressors and continue to be upset after they passed, were more likely to suffer from chronic health problems 10 years later. The study also suggests that certain types of people are more prone to experience stress in their lives. For example, young people are more stressed than older people; people with higher cognitive faculties have more stress than people with lower cognitive faculties; and people with higher levels of education are more stressed than people with less education.

For some people, stress is an indicator of a life filled with hardship or a life filled with many activities. In these cases, stress can be reduced by employing some simple management techniques:

  •  Accept that there are some things that you cannot control. Don’t continue to dwell on an event or experience that didn’t go accordingly. Dust yourself off and move on!
  • Practice some relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or listening to soothing music
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Eat heart-healthy and well-balanced meals. Try to avoid overeating in processed, salty, and sugary foods
  • Get enough sleep. You should at least get 6-8 hours of rest every night
  • Don’t abuse alcohol, caffeine, or drugs to reduce your stress. 
  • Learn how to manage your time more effectively. If you feel overwhelmed, try to limit some of the activities that are causing the most stress
  • Go outside and enjoy nature. Take a walk or go for a hike
  • Spend time with the ones you love
This list provides a few techniques to consider when managing stress. There are two types of people when it comes with dealing with stress: those that dwell on stressors and allow them to dictate their emotions, and those that deal with them accordingly and move on. Those that dwell are more likely to suffer from future health problems, including cardiovascular issues and arthritis. Those that deal with them accordingly, often utilize effective stress management techniques.  Although we cannot completely avoid stress, we can take the steps to insure that our reactions to everyday stressors do no impact our future health. We should seek comfort in self-empowerment.
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