Stress – we all have it. A recent study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reviews how, under stress, people pay more attention to the upside of a possible outcome rather than the downside.
Stress is usually associated with negative experiences, so obviously we may think that our focus would be on negative outcomes. However, the researchers have found that when people were put under various stressful conditions, they are more attentive to positive information while discounting negative information – Example: Someone who’s deciding whether to take a new job and is feeling stressed by the decision might weigh the increase in salary more heavily than the worse commute.
Stress is also linked to addiction which explains the findings as to why people under stress have a hard time in controlling their urges. “The compulsion to get that reward comes stronger and they’re less able to resist it,” says Mather, one of the author’s of the article. So a person who’s under stress might think only about the good feelings they’ll get from a drug, while the downsides shrink into the distance.
My answer to fight stress: Exercise first to relieve stress and calm you. Then, make the decisions you need to make. Your head will be clearer, you will be more calm, and feel better – thus your decision is more likely to be the right one for you.
© 2022. All rights reserved.