Your Thinking Determines Your State

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin have published a major study involving 1,065 individuals, examining the relationship between the interpretation of bodily reactions related to stress and mental well-being.
You can read the abstract here:
“The physiological reaction to stress is intertwined with, yet separate from, the subjective feeling of stress, although both systems must work together to enable adaptive responses. Researchers examined 1,065 participants from the Midlife in the United States 2 study who completed a self-report study and a stress induction procedure, while physiological and self-report measurements of stress were recorded. Individual differences in the relationship between heart rate and self-reported stress were analyzed in relation to measurements reflecting psychological well-being (self-report measures of well-being, anxiety, depression), coping strategies, and physical well-being (proinflammatory biomarkers interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein). The connection between participants’ heart rate and self-reported stress was significantly related to higher psychological well-being, fewer depressive symptoms, lower baseline anxiety, less use of avoidance coping, and lower levels of proinflammatory biomarkers. Our results highlight the importance of studying individual differences in the relationship between physiological response and subjective mental states in relation to well-being.”

The research shows that if we learn to think differently about stress and its associated reactions, we will experience reduced anxiety and depression, as well as increased overall well-being.

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