The definition of success for many is to live a stress-free life, but a new study has established that there could be a disadvantage if you are stress-free. The researchers discovered that people with zero stress could experience better well-being daily and even be less susceptible to chronic health conditions. What is on the other side? It was also discovered that such persons could have a lower cognitive function.
Daily Stressors, Daily Brain Boosters
According to David M. Almeida, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, the study indicates that small, daily stressors are great potential for your brain even though we view stress as an inconvenience.
Almeida said that experiencing stress creates a problem-solving opportunity. The situation may not be pleasant, but it forces you to seek solutions. This is good for cognitive functions and improves as we get older.
The researchers say that many previous studies have connected stress with many negative results, such as chronic illness, but according to Almeida, little has been done to expound on this assumption. Almeida added that most of his previous work focused on people who suffered from higher stress levels, but he never questioned the effect of zero stress.
Data from 2,711 participants was used for this particular study. Prior to the study, all participants underwent a short cognition test followed by an interview every night for eight consecutive nights. The questions were to do with their physical conditions, chronic conditions, what they did that day, and their mood.
Be Proactive, not Reactive
After data analysis, it was found that those with no stressors, 10 percent of the participants, were less susceptible to have chronic health conditions. They also experienced better moods daily. The downside of this is that they performed lower when it came to cognition tests. According to Almeida, positive and negative events are correlated, and that small daily stressors are a sign that one is engaged in life. These findings were published in the journal Emotion and suggest that avoiding stress is not the main issue, but how we respond to it matters.