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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
November 08, 2012

How You React to Stress Now May Determine Your Health in the Future

It's not what you deal with; it's how you deal with it. By Charlene J. Owen

People blame stress for a lot of their health problems, but according to a study featured on, stress itself isn't wholly responsible. In fact, researchers say that your own reactions to stress may play a bigger role when it comes to your health condition 10 years from now.

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University collected data from participants of MIDUS (Midlife in United States), a study on longitudinal health. Led by professor of human development and family studies David Almeida, they explored the link between people’s reaction to stressful life events and their physical well-being 10 years later.

Almeida’s team also did daily phone surveys of over 2,000 individuals in a span of eight days, asking about their sources of tension and how they were dealt with. This gave the researchers a deeper look at specific mood shifts and physical reactions. They found that those people who stress over an issue long after it has passed are more likely to suffer from chronic health problems such as cardiovascular conditions and arthritis 10 years into the future.

In the end whatever your age or lifestyle is, it’s all about what you do with the lemons life hands you. Do you stress over them, or do you make lemonade? Learn to de-stress and let go. Doing your best, knowing when to rest, and accepting certain situations as they are will give you a new lease in life--not to mention, a healthier one.

(Photo by RelaxingMusic via Flickr Creative Commons)

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Charlene J. Owen
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