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Many individuals would undoubtedly choose to eliminate stress from their lives if given a chance. However, intriguing new research from the University of Georgia suggests that a small amount of stress may benefit the brain and body.

Stress help people come out of their comfort zones 

Lead study author Assaf Oshri, an associate professor at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said that people frequently face uncertain or tense circumstances when they are under stress, which can cause physical discomfort. These situations force individuals out of their comfort zones, which is beneficial for the mind even if they are nearly never enjoyable. According to researchers, low to medium amounts of stress encourage better working memory.

Extreme stress on a regular basis might alter the brain’s anatomy. Experiencing high-stress levels regularly increases white matter at the expense of grey matter. Muscle regulation, self-control, decision-making, emotional regulation, and other processes all depend on gray matter, which is crucial.

It is important to note that chronic stress increases the susceptibility to several conditions ranging from migraine and nausea to heart disease and hypertension. Oshri, however, adds that information regarding limited stress’s effect is little. Nevertheless, he said that the findings demonstrate that low-to-moderate perceived stress levels were linked with increased activation of memory neural leading to enhanced mental performance. 

Low-to-moderate stress levels could help establish resilience 

Oshri and colleagues’ earlier studies had shown that low to medium stress levels might aid people in establishing resilience and lowering their risk of mental health issues, including antisocial behaviours and depression. In addition, limited stress assists people in dealing with upcoming stressful circumstances, according to an earlier study. The most recent research extends that previous study by showing how low to medium stress levels may help the regions of the brain that regulate working memory through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Results show that individuals with social support from family and friends are likely to cope with low-to-moderate stress levels.