Reacting Positively to Stressful Situations Can Benefit Your Health!

6 Aug

It is known that inflammation increases an individual’s risk for several chronic diseases, but until recently, it was not known if one’s emotional responses to daily stress were linked to inflammation production.  In a recent study, 872 adults from the National Study of Daily Experiences (sub-study of Midlife in the United States II) reported daily stressors and their reaction to them during telephone interviews over the course of eight days.  Blood samples were obtained at a separate clinic visit and analyzed for inflammatory markers.

The researchers note, “Adults who fail to maintain positive affect when faced with minor stressors in everyday life appear to have elevated levels of IL-6, a marker of inflammation.  Women who experience increased negative affect when faced with minor stressors may be at particular risk of elevated inflammation.  These findings add to growing evidence regarding the health implications of affective reactivity to daily stressors.” 

Dr. Nancy Sin, postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Aging and Department of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State adds, “A person’s frequency of stress may be less related to inflammation than responses to stress. It is how a person reacts to stress that is important.”

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