Is Stress More Harmful If You Think It’s Harmful?

Those who said that stress affected their health “a lot or extremely” were 49 percent more likely than other participants to have a heart attack or die of heart disease.

The authors suggest that the perception of the negative effects of stress may increase blood pressure or heart rate, or have indirect effects like increasing smoking or excessive drinking.

Study. (New York Times story.)

Comments (10)

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  1. August says:

    It could also be that they see effects, and that influences their perception

  2. Baker says:

    The ubiquitous recommendations: “physical activity, relaxation, meditation”

    • Buster says:

      Or maybe even simple changes like: live within your means so consumer debt doesn’t stress you; get the crazy people out of your life; begin preparing for situations sooner, such as studying for that test earlier in the week, beginning the major project sooner, taking work home evenings and weekends beforehand so you don’t run up against impossible deadlines resulting in irate bosses.

      My point is that people tend to invite some of the stress into their life.

  3. Studebaker says:

    Some people seem to thrive on stress and drama — whether in the workplace or their marriages/relationships. Others shudder at stress that I would assume common to daily life.

    I suspect it partly has to do with each individual’s make up and how their body responds to activities or situations that involve conflict or risk (i.e. stress).

  4. Sammy says:

    Its unfortunate, but I feel like there is something to this. Stress compounds a lot of potential problems like sleep loss, drugs/alcohol, smoking.

  5. Randall says:

    People do drink and smoke to “take the edge off.” In times of economic and labor down cycles, the purchase of alcohol and cigarettes goes up, while other sales go down.

  6. Jenn says:

    Soooo stress creates stress. Wow informative.

  7. Joe says:

    Is this study claiming that Stress’s negative effects are entirely placebo, or that Placebo makes the effects of stress worse?