Stress is one of the biggest problems we have to deal with in modern life. It's everywhere, and many don't realize how much damage daily stress might be doing to them.
It's all well and good to eat right, get enough sleep and exercise, but when it comes to mental hardship people will shrug it off, thinking it won't have an impact on their health.
Here are 7 recent conclusions about stress you should know about:
Stress at work is bad for the body
A review of relevant research conducted last September, officially identified a strong connection between stress at work and a bigger likelihood to get a heart attack. The review, performed by researches of the College University of London, shows that there is a strong correlation between overworking and a 23% increased chance of a heart attack. Another research published this last year in the Journal for occupational medicine, found that stress at work can cause specific harm to women by increasing their chances of diabetes.
A Smile is Stress Medicine
A real, honest smile, one that uses both the eye and mouth muscles, may help decrease the heart rate after a stressful event. So found research published in Psychological Science.
"Next time you are stuck in traffic or experience any other type of stress, you can try and put a smile on your face," says the main researcher from the University of Kansas, Sarah Paseman. "Not only will it help you cope psychologically, it will actually contribute to the health of your heart."
The link between stress and stressful situations
It turns out that not only can stress alone cause health problems but even thinking about stress! This from research conducted at the University of Ohio. Researchers found that when a person is asked to think about a stressful event, the levels of C protein, a protein known to deal with inflammation, rise and may cause inflammation themselves.
Similarly, research published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that a perception of stress can affect health quite significantly. Specifically, researchers from the medical center of Colombia University found that people who believe they are stressed have a higher chance of suffering heart conditions.
Chronic tension may increase the risk of diabetes among men
Being in a state of constant stress is linked to the risk of suffering diabetes among men. This from research published in Diabetic Medicine. Swedish researchers spent 35 years examining the link between ongoing stress at work or home to period pressures or a lack of stress altogether. They found that among those that reported ongoing stress, they had a 45% bigger chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. This in comparison to those who reported temporary stress or no stress at all. The study included 7000 men and took into account other risk factors, such as blood pressure, age and physical activity.
Meditation to increase awareness can be key
A study conducted by the University of California shows that ongoing practice of Mindfulness Meditation (meditation that focuses on the present) can significantly reduce the levels of the stress hormone (cortisol). Findings were published in the Journal of Health Psychology.
Another research, published in the PLos ONE Journal, found that work stress may, in fact, quicken the pace of aging. Researchers found a close link between work stress and short telemeters (the edges of chromosomes that are linked to a person's aging process, the shorter – the shorter the life span usually).
The millennium generation is the most stressed-out generation
The millennium is apparently the worst at dealing with stress. So says a large survey performed by the American Union of Psychologists and was published last August. The survey showed that people ages 18-33 experienced an average stress level of 5.4 (on a 1-10 scale) compared to an average national was 4.8.
According to researchers, the largest causes of stress since the millennium are job instability and work-related issues. It found that 39% of the millennium generation admitted that their levels of stress have gone up in the past year. Also, research shows that they experienced a lot more agitation, anger, anxiety and depression when compared to previous generations.
Stress causes Inflammation
Researchers from Carnegie University found that in the long-range, stress can harm the ability of the body to resist inflammation, which increases the likelihood of suffering infections. The researchers believe that when a person is stressed, the cells of the immunity system cannot respond to hormone control, and so there is an increased risk of suffering inflammation, which promotes illnesses such as heart conditions, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.