Thursday, January 3, 2013
Teflon or Velcro Brain
Did you know that the way you handle minor hassles of life every day can affect your health? You can permit stressors (e.g., road rage, argument with a colleague or friend, unpaid bills, upcoming deadlines) either to stick to your brain like Velcro or slide off like butter on a hot Teflon pan. According to a ten-year study by Penn State Researchers, a person’s reaction to daily stressors is predictive of future chronic health conditions. The study of 435 participants included saliva tests to measure levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Results showed that emotional reactivity to daily stressors was associated with an increased risk that the study participant would report a chronic physical health condition ten (10) years later. It was also associated with adverse same-day health (e.g., sore throat, fatigue, backache, headache, fatigue). A key finding: It’s not the daily hassles as much as the distress they can trigger and the person’s reaction to them.