Emotional Response Might Predict Body’s Response to Stress

A study appearing in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, states that the emotional response to difficult situations can predict the body’s response to the stress. According to Dr Margaret Kemeny, Professor, University of California, San Francisco, this might explain the differences in inflammatory response to the stress among individuals.This is the reason why individuals with high stress levels might experience health problems.

Middle aged people were asked to complete a speech in front of a camera and judges in the laboratory. During the speech, their physical response to this task was monitored by the investigators. Later, the participants were asked about their emotions during speech delivery. People reporting high levels of anxiety and anger during the task had increased marker of inflammation than those who remained calm and composed during the experiment.

According to Dr. Judith Carroll, the lead investigator, most people have increased blood pressure and heart rates when they have to face a stressful situation. Some people show increased circulating marker of inflammation. People with highest increase have the greatest emotional response. The study reveals that people who get anxious in challenging conditions are prone to increased inflammation. Emotionally-reactive people might be more vulnerable to the inflammatory diseases like the cardiovascular ailments.

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