PROBLEM: "Constant stress puts your health at risk," warns the Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile HuffPo not-helpfully chimes in with "10 Scary Things Stress is Doing to Your Body." Does anyone else get the feeling that stressing over the health impact of how stressed you are just might be counterproductive?
METHODOLOGY: Back in 1991, 7,268 London-based civil servants were asked how much the thought the stress they experienced impacted their health, on a scale from "not at all" to "extremely." 18 years later, researchers in France, Finland, and the U.K. looked back at their answers and compared them to how many of the participants ended up experiencing fatal or non-fatal heart attacks.
RESULTS: Eight percent of the participants reported that stress affected their health either "a lot" or "extremely," and by the end of the study, those same people were over twice as likely to have suffered a heart attack as those who believed it didn't impact their health at all. This was independent of how much stress they actually experienced.