• Researchers say short-term stress can be beneficial by boosting performance as well as bolstering our immune system.
It’s impossible to go through life without dealing with some stress and anxiety.
Nor would you necessarily want to, mental health experts say.
Chronic stress is usually cast in an unhealthy light. And with good reason.
Heart disease, diabetes, decreased libido, gastrointestinal problems, and disruptions in sleep and appetite are just on the short list of health problems linked to elevated stress over long periods of time.
In 2018, Harvard researchers reported that people with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol performed worse on memory tests.
“The main reason we view stress so negatively is the dominant narrative put forth by stress research. [It] focuses on the negative impacts of stress, such as chronic and debilitating diseases like hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes,” said Jennifer Wegmann, who teaches stress management at Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing.
Wegmann notes that 2017 research from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 20 percent of Americans said they were experiencing extremely high levels of stress.
“If Americans can learn to utilize stress in a positive way, it could not only help mitigate the negative outcomes people are experiencing, but lead to improved well-being, more productivity, and personal growth,” she told Healthline.
“Stress causes harm when it exceeds any level that a person can reasonably absorb or use to build psychological strength,” Lisa Damour, PhD, author of the book “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls,” said in a presentation this week at the APA’s annual convention in Chicago.
Short-term stress, however, can be beneficial.
Kevon Owen is a contributing author in this article which can be read in full at this link.