Plenty of research has shown a link between psychological stress and subsequent illness--we experience greater stress when facing illness, to be sure, but there's also a direct link between experiencing stress and experiencing compromised health. However, we also know that not everyone experiences stress the same, and the same level of stress can impact people differently (based on their personality, the way they view and respond to their stressors, and other factors).
Now recent research shows that the level of control we feel (our locus of control), and how capable we feel ourselves to be (our level of self-efficacy) can alter the degree to which stress impacts our health.
This is very good news!
That means that not only do certain actions we take have an impact on our overall level of stress and wellness, but our belief in our ability to take those actions and create those changes can also have an effect. As if we needed more reasons for maintaining a positive outlook on life or a 'can-do attitude', here we have them!
So if you're feeling less in-control-of-your-life than you'd like to be, or if you're feeling at the mercy of the stressors in your life, let this inspire you to make small changes in your actions and your outlook. Today is the day! The following resources can help:
- Do You Feel In Control Of Your Life? Test Your Locus Of Control
- How To Create an Internal Locus of Control
- Positive Affirmations for Self-Efficacy
- Stress and Positive Thinking
- How Stress Affects Your Health
- How To Become Emotionally Resilient
Roddenberry A, Renk K. Locus of Control and Self-Efficacy: Potential Mediators of Stress, Illness, and Utilization of Health Services in College Students. Child Psychiatry Human Development, March 5, 2010.
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