Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

angryWe all have those days where the little things get under our skin and drive us crazy. But if those “little things” start eating away at you all the time and you can’t let it go, you might want to check out the new research that claims even small stressors can lead to big health problems!


People whose negative emotional responses to stress carry over to the following day are more likely to report health problems and physical limitations later in life compared with peers who are able to “let it go,” according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Our research shows that negative emotions that linger after even minor, daily stressors have important implications for our long-term physical health,” says psychological scientist Kate Leger of the University of California, Irvine.

According to, the new study shatters common misconceptions that only certain kinds of major stressors — such as getting fired, going through a breakup, or undergoing surgery — significantly impact our lives.

Recent research explains that even small stressors can harm our long-term health if we hold on to how they make us feel.

For example, a misunderstanding with a friend today might lead to health issues later in life if we let this stress factor carry over into the next day. quoted Ms. Leger, the study’s author, as saying, ““Stress is common in our everyday lives. It happens at work, it happens at school, it happens at home and in our relationships,” Leger said. “Our research shows that the strategy to ‘just let it go’ could be beneficial to our long term physical health.”

Right about now you may be thinking, ‘letting it go is easier said than done.’ That might be true, but WebMD did offer some stress-busting tips to help you manage stress that include:

  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
  • Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditationyoga, or tai-chi.
  • Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.

Finally, added this for those who may find themselves struggling with minor stress.

It helps to remember that a little bit of stress can be a good thing, and that framing our concepts of stress in more positive ways, while allowing ourselves to let go of and release negative emotions associated with life’s inevitable snags, may be the ticket to better health in the long run.

Share your thoughts on this new research and whether you have any of your own stress-busting suggestions. We’d love to hear about them! Working together to find new ways to deal with old issues will help us take another step toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!





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