Having A Gloomy Outlook Could Be The Key To Beating Stress

Having low standards means you never get disappointed, and a new study says it also means you avoid stress. Scientists from the University College London had 45 students play a computer game where they turned over rocks to find out if they had snakes underneath. If they found a snake they received a mild electric shock. Over time, participants learned which rocks were more likely to have snakes underneath, and sometimes even knew they would definitely find a snake no matter which rock they chose. All the participants had their stress levels measured through sweating and pupil dilation. The results showed that people were the most stressed when there was a 50 percent chance of finding a snake and the least stressed when there was no chance, or a 100 percent chance of receiving a shock. In other words, uncertainty is what leaves people feeling anxious and unable to cope, while accepting the inevitable brings a sense of calm. Researcher Dr. Robb Rutlege explains, saying, “When applying for a job, you’ll probably feel more relaxed if you think it’s a long shot or if you’re confident it’s in the bag. The same is likely to apply in many familiar situations whether it’s waiting for medical results or information on train delays.” In other words, having a gloomy outlook could also have a positive impact on overall mental well being. (Telegraph.co.uk)