It has long been thought that stress management can extend a person’s life span due to the calming physiological effects some stress management techniques can have, but now research strongly suggests this belief to be true.
Brandeis University in the USA carried out a study on 41 individuals that measured their stress levels, alongside questions that sought to rank their level of self-compassion. The questions followed a ‘How far do you agree with this statement’ formula, and the statements were along the lines of “I’m disapproving and judgemental about my own flaws and inadequacies.”
People with higher self compassion “exhibited significantly lower stress responses… even when controlling for self-esteem, depressive symptoms, demographic factors and distress.”
On the other hand, people who had a lower ranking of self compassion retained high stress results over the two days of the study, showing that those who have issues with forgiving themselves for ‘failures’ stay more stressed out for longer.
Psychological stresses like this have been linked to all sorts of mental and physical issues later in life, such as Alzheimers disease, and even cancer.
However, studies that rely on personal perception, just as this one asks people to rate their own personal judgements, are often cited as being unreliable as different people may rate the same feelings differently.