Dec 15, 2015 08:17 AM EST
Helping others may reduce your stress levels, study says
According to a new research study, helping others in solving their problems can actually protect you from the negative effects of stress of your personal problems, Sentinel-Standard reports.
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The study was published in Sage Journals.
The researchers wrote,
"Results suggest that even brief periods of supporting or helping others might help to mitigate the negative emotional effects of daily stress."
For the study, the researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Yale University School of Medicine recruited 77 adults between the ages of 18 and 44.
The researchers gave all the participants a reminder to complete a series of questionnaires, each evening for two weeks.
The results of the study showed that the participants experienced no decrease in positive emotion and only a slight increase in negative emotion on days when participants were more helpful than usual.
On the other hand, on days when they were less helpful than usual, participants experienced lower positive emotion and higher negative emotion in response to stress.
The researchers concluded that even though a clear link could not be established between helping others and a reduction in negative emotions, it could be proposed that supporting others might keep your mind off your personal problems.
They also said that helping others might also stimulate certain biological systems that reduce the emotional stress response.