Reacting positively to stressful situations may play a key role in long-term health, revealed a new study that measured adults' reactions to stress and how it affects their bodies. Researchers found that adults who fail to maintain positive moods such as cheerfulness or calm when faced with the minor stressors of everyday life appear to have elevated levels of inflammation in the body. Furthermore, women are at heightened risk.
Inflammatory responses are part of the body's ability to protect itself with the help of the immune system. However, chronic, long-term, inflammation undermines one's health, and appears to play a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer. These findings add to growing body of evidence regarding the health implications of affective reactivity and emotional response to daily stressors.
Nancy Sin said, "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."
The study is published in Health Psychology.