In a 2012 study, titled Does the perception that stress affects health matter? The association with health and mortality, researchers from Harvard University looked at the link between the belief that stress is bad for you and public death records. This study tracked 30,000 adults in the US. They concluded that both high amounts of stress and the perception that stress impacts health are each associated with poor health and mental health.

Individuals who perceived that stress affects their health in a harmful way and reported a large amount of stress had an increased risk of premature death by 43% over the course of 8 years (Keller, 2012). Even more surprising, people who experienced a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful had the lowest risk of dying early of anyone in the study, including people who had relatively little stress.

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Keller, A. (2012, December 26). Does the perception that stress affects health matter? the association with health and mortality. Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association.