Stress is good for your immune system
You can read about this study in the journal Psychological Bulletin. The authors of the study are Dr Suzanne Segerstrom, University of Kentucky, USA, and Dr Gregory Miller, University of British Columbia, Canada.
We have all known about the unpleasant effects stress can have on our health. This research shows that some types of stress can be beneficial.
The two scientists reviewed 300 scientific papers involving about 19,000 people.
WHAT IS GOOD STRESS?
Most stresses that activate our ?fight or flight? response are considered to be good. Our fight or flight response comes way back when we were living in caves and walked around with clubs. When we were threatened by predators our fight or flight response was activated. This response mechanism still exists in all of us and it boosts our body?s natural front-line defence against infections from traumas such as bites and scrapes.
WHAT IS BAD STRESS?
Any stress that is long-term and brings about long-term anxiety is considered to be bad for our immune systems (and general health). Anything that turns your world upside-down is bad stress. Here are some examples:
-- Caring for a person with dementia
-- Losing a partner
-- Being abused as a child
-- Having a long term disability
If you know the stress is short term, then it may be good for you.
The elderly and people who are already ill are more vulnerable to the negative effects of bad stress.
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