Research Finds Mild Stress Can Be Good For Health

Stress is not always bad. Sometimes stress can help improve your brain functions and mental health.

Written by: Chanchal Sengar Updated at: 2022-11-28 18:03

Stress is often perceived as a problem but it is not always an issue. Prolonged stress or chronic stress can get a toll on your healthy but mild to moderate stress can be beneficial, finds a study. The University of Georgia’s Youth Development Institute conducted research to understand the effect of stress on brain function.

The study published in the journal Neuropsychologia states that lower levels of stress might be beneficial for brain health. It may improve working memory that includes everyday tasks like remembering names, routes or directions, phone numbers, etc. These findings are limited to mild to moderate stress levels. When the levels increase and become constant, it might get toxic for your health.

All of us know of the potential health problems that might get triggered by stress. This is because higher levels of prolonged stress can alter brain structure and increase white matter. The reduction of gray matter, therefore, hampers emotional health, affects decision-making abilities, and loses muscle control, to name but a few.

On the other hand, chronic stress can also increase the risk of chronic illness ranging from heart diseases to hypertension. Depression, anxiety disorders and antisocial behaviours are also linked to higher stress levels. In a nutshell, high and prolonged levels of stress can be highly detrimental for your overall health.

On the contrary, low levels of stress can actually boost brain health and make people learn how to deal with stressful situations. The research team studied the MRIs of over 1,000 participants with low to high stress levels. They found that mild to medium stress can improve working memory and make people more productive. Participants with higher levels showed a decline in white matter.

How to analyse stress?

How often you feel stressed is also a factor to take into consideration. Besides, the reason for stress, and ability to cope up are also important. Someone who felt highly stressed in a month cannot be counted in the high stress category. Similarly, someone who gets stressed every now and then can be considered highly stressed.

One should be able to cope with stress in order to not let your life and health be affected. Seek support from your friends and family to manage stress.

Image credits- freepik


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