You’re stuck in traffic, getting late for your office, your boss calls you to inform you about a last-minute meeting and you’re watching the clock ticking away. This is the moment when you start stressing. Sounds similar? Hear us out. While stress has always been proven toxic to your health, a new study reflects the surprising social benefits of stress.
Published in the journal Stress & Health, the research concludes that experiencing stress made people both like to give and receive emotional support. “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,” said study co-author David Almeida from The Pennsylvania State University in the US.
“Stress could potentially help people deal with negative situations by driving them to be with other people,” Almedia added.
Chronic stress has proven to be one of the common reasons behind depression. It equally can cause physical ailments, ranging from cardiovascular diseases to even sexual dysfunction. While the positive effects of stress, such as emotional support remained undecipherable.
The study included interviewing 1,622 people for eight consecutive nights. The interview was based on each participant’s stressors, and whether they experience the potential effect of giving or receiving emotional support on the day they feel stressed. According to the answers, the participants were more than twice as likely to either give or receive emotional support on the day they experienced a stressful situation. On the other hand, there was a small percentage of people who were equally more likely to give or receive support on the next day of the stressful situation.
The study also marked a difference between men and women where men to a lesser extent were more likely to engage in emotional support.
“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 problem,” Almedida said.
Almedida also suggested that the study can be helpful for practitioners to understand the subject of stress better. Always remember, stress on a daily basis requires a doctor’s intervention.
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