Stress gets an awful lot of bad press, and not without good reason: As many as 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related maladies, and it’s been linked to health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, and arthritis. Although it’s talked about much less, not all of the effects of this perfectly natural biological phenomenon are catastrophically bad for you. “There is amazing research we rarely hear about that finds that stress can actually improve our immune systems, speed up cognitive processing, and deepen our social bonds,” says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, a scientific group that conducts social studies on happiness and wellbeing. Yeah, it sucks feeling strung out, but at least there are a few pluses. Here are six ways in which stress might actually boost your health.
So stressed you might punch the next guy who pisses you off? Bad idea. Instead, sooth yourself by reading about these surprising health benefits of being put under pressure.