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Monday, April 8, 2013

April Is Stress Awareness Month ~ How We Handle Stress Can Affect Our Mental Health

April is Stress Awareness Month

It seems that almost every day we read a news story that deals with stress, but during April there are many more articles about stress since 1992 April has been officially designated as Stress Awareness Month.

According to a Forbes article:
"With increasing research pointing to the impact of chronic stress on our bodies, healthcare concerns can’t help but manifest in the workplace impacting engagement, presenteeism, creativity, productivity and innovation. With heart conditions, hypertension and diabetes on the rise; fostering well-being at work is becoming more of a bottom-line issue." 

A new study points out that how we handle stress can affect our mental health

This month the results of a new study were published on-line in the Psychological Science Journal: The Wear and Tear of Daily Stressors on Mental Health. This study's lead author was Susan Charles, a professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California-Irvine.

The study's parameters

According to the abstract, the researchers analyzed:
  • 711 men and women
  • The participants ranged in age from 25 to 74
  • The participants were interviewed two times 10 years apart
  • The original interviews took place every day for eight days, with the participants reporting stressors that occurred each day.
  • The participants were asked to report on the emotions they experienced like sadness, anxiety and/or worry.

The study's results

USA Today reports an overview of the study's results:
"People who responded to stress with more anxiety and sadness than the average person were much more likely to have self-reported anxiety/mood disorders and psychological distress 10 years later. These were people who didn't report mental health problems at the beginning of the study."

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