You may be one of those people who eat tension for breakfast. But every time you grit your teeth and say “stressed ako,” try thinking that maybe it’s not about the stress, but how you deal with it.

A recent study posted on warns that recalling those negative moments that got you all worked up in the first place may increase the levels of C-reactive protein in the body--a sign of tissue inflammation.

A research team at Ohio University gathered 34 healthy young women and asked them to give a short speech about their eligibility for a job to two poker-faced interviewers in white laboratory coats. The participants were then split into two groups. Members of one group were asked to contemplate about how they think they did during the interview. Members of the other group were asked to think about neutral activities like sailing or going to the grocery. Blood samples were drawn from the participants of both groups afterward.


The results showed that those who ruminated on their speeches had higher C-reactive protein levels than those who were asked to focus on other things. The C-reactive protein levels in the first group continued to rise an hour after the initial phase of the test, while those who were distracted had their markers drop to normal levels within the same timeframe.

C-reactive protein is released by the liver as an initial inflammatory response to trauma and infections by the body’s immune system. It is used by doctors to determine the possibility of infection or the risk of future diseases in a patient.

In order to avoid the unwarranted rise of C-reactive protein and increase inflammatory risk, it’s important to handle stress the right way. Instead of going on a physical and mental rampage, find a place where you can quiet your mind and center yourself. Also, try not to think about past situations where you think you might have made a bad call. Be more solution-oriented instead of dwelling in the past. Staying cool and level-headed will help you fix any mess faster, and you’ll feel immensely better about yourself.

(Photo by Bailey Weaver via Flickr Creative Commons)

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