Mild to moderate stress is good for health

Mild to moderate stress is good for health

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Persistent high levels of stress can actually change the structure of the brain. This leads to an increase in white matter at the expense of gray matter, which is involved in muscle control, decision making, self-control, emotional regulation, and more.

Chronic stress can also make people vulnerable to a variety of ailments, from nausea and migraine headaches to high blood pressure and heart disease.

“But less is known about the effects of more limited stress,” O’Sheary said. “Our findings suggest that low to moderate levels of perceived stress were associated with enhanced working memory neural activation, resulting in improved mental performance.”

In previous research, Oshri and his colleagues demonstrated low to moderate stress levels can help individuals build resilience and reduce their risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and antisocial behavior. That study also showed that limited periods of stress can help people learn how to cope with stressful situations in the future.

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