Stressed out. Under pressure. Run down. We tend to think of stress as a bad thing—and it can be. Traumatic experiences in early childhood can destroy mental health later in life, and chronic stress has been linked to illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. But stress can be good too. It helps us navigate an unpredictable world and determine which new experiences are good, bad, or dangerous. It also primes us to respond to similar situations in the future. The key with stress is to strike a healthy balance—getting enough at the right moments, but not too much overall. If the prospect of following that advice makes you tense up, take a deep breath: Science can help.
How It Works
How To Cope
Feeling Tense? Learn From These High-Stress Professionals
This article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The Science Of Stress.”
What Is Stress?
Why Do We Get Stressed?
Strung Out? You’re Not Alone.
The Consequences Of Chronic Stress
How Strung Out Are You?
Tested: Stress Trackers
The Secret To Resilience
Dealing With A Cancer Diagnosis
How Astronauts Decompress
Keeping Calm While Fighting Ebola