It is not the stress that's increasing your risk for health complications, but the way you react to it, says a new study.
Researchers from Penn State have found that the way people react to stress affects their health 10 years later and that young, intelligent and educated people are more likely to be stressful.
The study involved 2,000 men and women who were part of a National study called Midlife in the United States - a study that measures the health and wellbeing of people.
The participants were asked about their health, mood and if they had suffered from any stressful situations during the day, like being stuck in traffic jam or if they had an argument with somebody.
Researchers also collected the participants' saliva samples and tested them for stress hormone cortisol.
"We did this 10 years ago in 1995 and again in 2005. By having longitudinal data, not only were we able to look at change in daily experiences over this time but how experiences that were occurring 10 years ago are related to health and well being now," said David Almeida, professor of human development and family studies.
Researchers found that people who constantly worry about situations tend to have more aches and pains even after ten years. These people also had more cardiovascular issues than people who were able to make peace with the situation.
"For example, if you have a lot of work to do today and you are really grumpy because of it, then you are more likely to suffer negative health consequences 10 years from now than someone who also has a lot of work to do today, but doesn't let it bother her," Almeida said.
Almeida said that people can be broadly classified into two types depending on how they react to stress.
"I like to think of people as being one of two types. With Velcro people, when a stressor happens it sticks to them; they get really upset and, by the end of the day, they are still grumpy and fuming. With Teflon people, when stressors happen to them they slide right off. It's the Velcro people who end up suffering health consequences down the road," Almeida said.
Almeida added that young people are more likely to be reactive to stress than older people, and those with lower education and lower cognitive abilities tend to have lower levels of stress levels.
Published by Medicaldaily.com