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Stressed About How Stressed Out You Are? You Should Be.

Illustration for article titled Stressed About How Stressed Out You Are? You Should Be.

Are you stressed out? (Can any woman remember a time when she was not stressed out?) Well, there's something new to stress about: All that stress can kill you. According to an article in the Association for Psychological Science's magazine, Observer, stress is cumulative, meaning, the more stress you feel, the more susceptible you become to more of it. And it'll kill you. Writes the Observer's Eric Wargo: "Depression and heart disease, for example, are not only the results of stress, but also causes of (more) stress. Consequently, the chronically stressed body can appear less like a thermostat than like a wailing speaker placed too close to a microphone — a feedback loop in which the stress response goes out of control, hastening physical decline with age." And God help you if you get pregnant:

A study has found that pregnant women in their first trimester who dealt with a traumatic event like death or serious illness of a relative had a 67% greater risk of having a schizophrenic child. So on top of being worried about everything else — caffeine, fish, alcohol — knocked-up women need to worry about...worrying.

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Scientists agree that exercise and optimism are good for you. Wargo notes that Nietzsche (and Kanye West) are full of shit: "[The] 'whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger,' just plain isn't true," he writes. "Stressors that don't kill you in the short run may yet shorten your life or drastically lessen its quality." Stressy stress stress stress, effing hell. Maybe it would be less stressful if we didn't have to hear about how bad stress is.

Understanding The Have-Knots [Observer]
Stop Worrying About Worrying [Utne Reader]
Anxiety for Two [Newsweek]

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DISCUSSION

@STICKSnSCONES: Oh honey, laugh away. The rest of my family does! And I get the shits when I am stressed out too. Once I went to a formal ball and almost pooped on the dance floor b/c I had to meet this important person. It is funny in retrospect.