What if the problem wasn’t stress, but rather our perception of stress?
Stress seems to be the ill of the century. And, especially since the Covid-19 crisis, burn-out is inviting itself onto every level of the corporate world, in an increasingly visible way.
In one of his posts on LinkedIn, physician and neuropsychologist Bernard Anselem mentions a study published in the journal Health Psychology that highlights the link between stress and mortality, carried out on 30,000 American adults over the course of eight years. According to this study, when they are subjected to high stress levels, people who believe that stress has a negative impact on their health do indeed suffer excess mortality, whereas the people who have a more neutral perception of the matter can withstand it without any significant impact on their health.
This is in line with other studies devoted to this phenomenon. For one thing, our interpretation of a situation influences our physiological reactions; thus, people who are sensitized to the utility of stress have less pronounced cardiovascular and mental reactions. For another, at the neurological level, the encoding of emotional and memory networks varies according to whether we perceive a situation as good or bad; if we relive the same experience, we will therefore be conditioned to once again perceive it as good or bad.
A scientific explanation of the virtues of a Stoic approach to stress.
Source: Does the perception that stress affects health matter? The association with health and mortality, Abiola Keller, Kristin Litzelman, Lauren E. Wisk, Torsheika Maddox, Erika Rose Cheng, Paul D. Creswell, Whitney P. Witt, Health Psychology, September 2012.