We all may intuitively know that stress can take a toll on one's health, but stress and health research provides us with a clearer picture of how stress and health are linked, and what specific choices we can make to better manage stress and create greater health. In recent years, I've blogged about some interesting and informative research studies on stress and health, and linked extra resources to help you put what you learn into action in your own life. While no single study provides the whole picture of the link between stress and health, the following list of studies does provide some important information that you can use right now. Let this stress and health research be your guide to changes you can make today for a healthier tomorrow.
Short-Term Yoga Can Bring Real BenefitsYoga has a reputation for being a health-promoting practice, and research backs that reputation. While there are documented health benefits, this study shows that even a short-term yoga program can bring real benefits for overall wellbeing and productivity as well. Read more about this short-term yoga research, and find resources for practicing yoga for stress relief.
Stress Makes The List As A Top Childhood Health ProblemThe University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health ranked 23 health concerns for children, and guess where stress ranked? Learn more about stress and children's health, and how to keep you children less stressed, as well as healthier and happier.
80% Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease? Here's What To Do!What does stress have to do with the factors that contribute to 80% of chronic disease? And how can we keep ourselves healthier? It turns out that many of the risk factors for major chronic diseases can be alleviated by techniques that also reduce stress; in other words, certain stress management techniques can help you feel less stressed and lower your risk for serious illness by a whopping percentage. Read more about stress and risk of chronic disease, and find resources to lower your risk.
Exercise Can Increase Resilience Toward StressWe know that exercise is good for our bodies, but it's also good for our stress levels! Researchers studied different types of athletes and found that physical activity can work as a buffer against stress and help build overall resilience to stress. Learn how you can use exercise for resilience toward stress.
Threat Vs. Challenge: How You See Things Makes A DifferenceResearchers have found that a key difference in how stressors at work translate into chronic stress for workers has to do with outlook and how we perceive things. If we feel challenged, we fare better than if we feel threatened. Learn more about seeing things as a threat vs. a challenge, and find ways to feel more in control of your life.
Stress Can Increase Your Risk of MortalityRecently, researchers from King's College London examined data that show that self-reported stress is associated with increased all-cause mortality in the next 20 years--that stress is, in fact, statistically associated with a higher risk of death from various causes. How can you keep yourself safe? Read on for more on the link between stress and mortality.
Laughter Can Help With Stress--Even Before It Happens!Laughter is a great stress reliever in that it's fun, easy and free. It's also effective even before it happens! That's right, new research shows that even merely anticipating laughter can affect stress hormones in a positive way. Learn more about stress and laughter, and see how that can impact your health.
Job Stress Can Hurt Your HeartIn a large study, researchers found that lack of control, job awareness, unexpected changes, job strain, and stress could lead to poor cardiac health. How can you keep job stress from impacting your heart? Read more about stress and cardiac health.
Losing Weight May Improve Brain FunctioningStress and weight gain have been linked in several ways--and now here's another fact about weight that can lead to stress: being overweight may affect the functionality of your brain. Learn more about the link between weight, brain functioning and stress, and find resources for a low-stress, fit and healthy life.
Stress Can Lead To Fatigue and IllnessPeople always talk about feeling 'sick and tired', but research shows that the two can go together, and both states are linked to stress! That's why part of staying healthy is basic stress management. Read more about stress and fatigue, and find out how to manage both.
If You Think You're In Control, You May Fare BetterIt's not just what you experience, or even how you handle what you experience--the level of control you believe you have in your life also makes a difference in how you experience stress. Read about locus of control and learn more about how your feelings of control over your life can impact your stress levels and, in turn, your health. (There's a very interesting poll to check out as well!)
Your Negative Thoughts Really Can Hurt YouYour thoughts can affect your health in ways you may not realize. Because of this, it matters what your habitual thought patterns are. (But don't worry--you can change them!) Read on to learn more about optimism, pessimism and explanatory style.
One Poor Habit Can Lead To MoreA few days of not taking care of yourself can add to stress, but it can also add to bad habits in other areas of self care! One study found that those who were sleep-deprived for a few days ended up eating poorly and exercising less--all things that can create and exacerbate stress! Learn more, and find ways to live healthier and stress less.