Fro Medical News Today:
Your immune system may benefit from short spurts of stress. The type
of stress you may experience when you have to sit an exam could be
good for you, says a new study. Long-term stress, on the other hand,
is not good for you. If you suffer from continuous stress, the same
continuous stress, such as the stress experienced by people with some
disabilities, your immune system will suffer.
You can read about this study in the journal Psychological Bulletin.
The authors of the study are Dr Suzanne Segerstrom, University of
Kentucky, USA, and Dr Gregory Miller, University of British Columbia,
We have all known about the unpleasant effects stress can have on our
health. This research shows that some types of stress can be beneficial.
The two scientists reviewed 300 scientific papers involving about
WHAT IS GOOD STRESS?
Most stresses that activate our `fight or flight' response are
considered to be good. Our fight or flight response comes way back
when we were living in caves and walked around with clubs. When we
were threatened by predators our fight or flight response was
activated. This response mechanism still exists in all of us and it
boosts our body's natural front-line defence against infections from
traumas such as bites and scrapes.
WHAT IS BAD STRESS?
Any stress that is long-term and brings about long-term anxiety is
considered to be bad for our immune systems (and general health).
Anything that turns your world upside-down is bad stress. Here are
-- Caring for a person with dementia
-- Losing a partner
-- Being abused as a child
-- Having a long term disability
If you know the stress is short term, then it may be good for you.
The elderly and people who are already ill are more vulnerable to the
negative effects of bad stress.