People face more health, well-being issues who view stressful situations as threat: Study

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London, Feb 3 (IANS) People are more likely to experience health and well-being problems, both mental and physical, who tend to view stressful situations as a threat rather than those who see them as a challenge, a new study has revealed.

The study published in the journal ‘Stress and Health’ examined stress appraisals, health and well-being of 395 sport performers through an online survey. The researchers believe the results of their study apply equally to non-athletes.

“We found a convincing link between mental and physical ill-health, and the way a person typically views stressful situations,” said study co-author Dr Lee Moore from the UK-based University of Bath.

“The more you’re able to appraise a stressful situation as a challenge, the more likely you are to report good health and wellbeing,” he added.

As per the researchers, the negative health and wellbeing consequences of repeatedly viewing stressful situations as a threat include a higher risk of mental health problems such as depression, physical illnesses like colds and the flu, and suboptimal wellbeing or happiness, probably as result of constantly feeling overwhelmed or from a suppressed immune system.

Moore hopes the study’s findings will help doctors better identify individuals who are at greater risk of developing stress-related health problems.

He believes those who have a tendency to see stressful situations as threats might be taught coping mechanisms to change their perspective and see challenges rather than threats. This could have a good impact on their long-term health and wellness.

“Researchers have speculated for the past 15 years that people who repeatedly believe they don’t have the resources to cope in stressful situations are putting their health at risk, but we believe this is the first time the theory has been properly tested, leading to us finding a link between stress appraisals and health,” said Dr Moore.



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