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January 06, 2021 Wednesday 11:59:57 AM IST

Mild Stress is Also Harmful

Teacher Insights

Even mild stress may be harmful to people although it is generally believed that it helps people perform better. A new study by neuroscientists at the University of British Columbia has shown the even mild stress may harm people’s executive functions --mental skills such as self-control, focussed attention, working memory, and problem-solving. A study was conducted among 140 young adults under mild stress by having them take computerized cognitive tests while a male and female staff member stood behind them to watch their performance. It was found that even a small amount of stress can have an impact on executive functions. For children, spending time with pets or animals is found to reduce stress, improve children’s attention and learning while for adults the recommended strategy is to take deep breaths, spending time in nature, connecting with others, and physical exercise.