Thinking About Your May Help Manage Stress – Study Shows


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The modern-day life is characterized by stress and anxiety. There are various reasons for this including an increase in finances, work, and overall exertion. Hence, the majority of the adult populations suffers from effects of chronic anxiety and even develops problems related to mental health.

In such times, having a loved one by your side can help with managing the stress levels. It is scientifically proven that the presence of your significant other can not only improve your mood but help in decreasing all sorts of pain. Support and emotional healing are both fundamental for mental health.

While there is an abundance of medical research on the effects of being in presence of a partner, a new study highlights the results of solely thinking about your significant other.

The study, conducted by researchers from psychologists from the University of Arizona in Tucson concludes that being in presence of your partner as well as thinking about them leads to a reduction in stress, relieves the feeling of discomfort, and cope with stress in a better way.

The findings of this research can be read in the journal Psychophysiology. A total of one hundred and two people were involved in the study, who were given a stress-inducing task, to reach the final results.

Read the study here. 

How Was the Study Conducted?

To conduct the research, each of the 102 participants was asked to dip their feet in water which was three feet deep. The temperature of the water ranged around 3.3-4.4 degrees in Celcius and 38-40 degrees in Fahrenheit.

In order to measure the exact pressure and stress the participants felt, the researchers looked at various factors. These include heart rate, blood pressure, and heart rate variability both before and after the required task was performed.

All of the people, who were in long-term romantic relationships, were first divided into three groups by the team. In the first group, the partners of the participants who volunteered to do the tasks sat quietly with them as it happened.

People in the second groups were asked to only think about the support their partners would give them. The third and last group was to only think about any of the events that happened in their day while doing the assigned task.

What Were the Results?

During the task, the scientists noted that volunteering partners in group one and two both had a lower blood pressure compared to those in group three.

Putting it simply, being in the presence of partners or thinking about them helped the participants remain calm. On the other hand, the blood rate and blood rate variability were the same in all three groups.

The most important thing this study accentuated was the importance of relationships and how can they be helpful in the stressful lifestyles of today. The senior author of the study, Kyle Bourassa says:

“There are many situations, including at work, with school exams, or even during medical procedures, where we would benefit from limiting our degree of blood pressure reactivity, and these findings suggest that a relational approach to doing so can be quite powerful.”

However, this study may have some limitations as the studied participants were all undergrad students. The researchers agree that diverse age groups should also be included in any future research to see possibly different effects due to the impact of age.


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Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Literature graduate with expertise in Creative Writing. Her writing interests are mental health, ethics, and news reporting. You will find her work associated with relevant research and references that shows her passion for delivering authentic information to readers.

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