Too much stress can get toxic for your health and that's no news. Now, there's a new study which suggests that stress can surprisingly also lead to social benefits.
Published in the journal Stress & Health, the research found that experiencing stress can make people both give and take emotional support from someone else. This was truer on the day when they experienced the stressor and also on the next day.
Study researcher David Almeida from Penn State University in the US said, "Our findings suggest that just because we have a bad day, that doesn't mean it has to be completely unhealthy. If stress can actually connect us with other people, which I think is absolutely vital to the human experience, I think that's a benefit. Stress could potentially help people deal with negative situations by driving them to be with other people."
Stressors can include stressful environments at school or work, arguments and stressful events at home.
The effect of stress differs a little bit between men and women. Study researcher Hye Won Chai says, "Women tended to engage in more giving and receiving emotional support than men. In our study, men were also more likely to engage in emotional support on days they were stressed, but to a lesser extent than women."
Stress was linked to people on not just receiving emotional support but also giving it. Almeida concluded saying, "We saw that someone experiencing a stressor today actually predicted them giving emotional support the next day. This made me think that it's actually possible that stress helps to drive you to other people and allows it to be okay to talk about problems - your problems, my problems."