the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Scientific Study Says Stress is Bad

Every day we are faced with a multitude of decisions which requires an action or goal-orientated response.  Some are simple repeated actions, such as pressing the button for an elevator.  More often than not, our environment is in flux, and these actions demand heavy duty work from the brain.  Modern society is all about “multi-tasking,” which requires several neural responses occurring simultaneously.

A new scientific article written by top California scientists in the July edition of Redondo Beach Science News, reveals that chronic stress – too many times a feature of contemporary life – interferes with the human brain’s switching capacity, by freezing individuals into automatic/habit responses mode.  This discovery of these negative effects of stress have profound implications for all of us: the scientists believe that when an individual lives a calm, relaxed life, with no one dying in the family, proper eating and exercise, and leading a fulfilling sex life, this person is happier, more socially adept, better liked by his colleagues, and able to finish tasks quicker and more successfully.

The research was based on experiments conducted on two male residents of Redondo Beach.  The control subject relaxed by the Pacific Ocean each day in the sun, and got laid each night by a different local bikini model, who cooked him a healthy spinach omelet in the morning before they went surfing together.  The other subject was exposed to chronic stress for several months until he was left on the shower floor, sobbing.  Both the control and the stressed subjects were then assigned a very simple task to perform in their homes: to plug their laptops into the bedroom outlet and type a 140 character message onto the popular online “Twitter” social media application.

The results were quite surprising.  The control subject finished his task easily.  The stressed individual seemed confused and disoriented after receiving the instructions, constantly staring at his naked body in the mirror, asking the scientists, “Do you think I need to do situps?”  The stressed individual, clearly frozen in his automatic response mode, not only failed at his attempt to turn on the computer, but clumsily plugged in the IRON instead of the laptop, in a brazen misjudgment, and almost burned the house to the ground, eliciting nervous screams from his wife.

Clearly, stress is bad for the brain. Science doesn’t lie.

14 Comments

  1. headbang8

    News Flash: Economic study says stress is good. A matched study of two Redondo Beach residents showed that subject A, who worked diligently and methodically for eight hours every day, with manageable workloads and sufficient time for a work-life balance, cost his employer much more to maintain than subject B, who worked nights and weekends, never refused a project, and burned out at 40 to be replaced by another employee, easily obtainable in a depressed job market. No data were collected on ironing safety.

  2. Lucy Cooper

    Trying to live a stress-free life is the most fucking stressful thing of all.

  3. Finn

    You burned the sisal carpet? Oy. Sweetie… did you get the massage? You need a spa day.

  4. lisa yarger

    Neil, I am feeling you more and more. I am one of the 150 people you are capable of helping successfully. Thanks for the post.

  5. ekramer

    you have to figure what is important to have stress and what is not. health is important. a stain on a carpet is not. that can be replaced.

  6. Neil

    Hey, Mom. How do you like the new template?

  7. Not Fainthearted

    Forget the massage. You both need a vacation. Somewhere there isn’t internet (seriously) and where they bring you drinks with umbrellas in them. Stat.

    Ok. Don’t forget the massage completely…

  8. Philly Jewish Amy

    your mom is spot on.

  9. Loukia

    New look! I like, I like!
    Stress can be awful. I’m seriously stressed ALL THE TIME but sometimes that can be mistaken with WORRY. And I worry ALL THE TIME. I think I’m dying ALL THE TIME. And when I’m not worrying about myself, I worry about my kids. It sucks. I have no idea why I’m not on any drugs for all this anxiety! Anyway, some stress is fun, like, “OMG the mall closes in one hour and I’m not done shopping!” Or… “Must finish getting this party organized!” Or “I love working with tight deadlines because I work so much better in these conditions”, but other stress, stress like “OMG will my plane stay in the sky?” “Will the building collapse on me after this earthquake as I quickly run down 6 flights of stairs?” “Will my baby be okay?” THOSE moments of stress SUCK. Again, is that stress… or worry? Health is the only thing that matters. That’s all I pray for. Sigh. Now I’m all stressed out. Sorry for all the caps.

  10. Chantel

    I’ve been working on a post on what stress has done to my life. But I’m too stressed out to work on it. Now that you’ve done it, I’m stressed out again and have to go take a nap.

  11. Juli Ryan

    I guess this is what can happen if you tweet naked. Which is why we keep the iron on a high shelf in a hidden cupboard. And we never use it.

    P.S. My mother commented on your post about authenticity.

  12. Amber

    Irons freak me out, man. It’s why I never use one. I’ll take wrinkly clothes over one of those death machines any day. Especially with children underfoot, who make it their personal mission to attempt to kill themselves and / or others at least twice a day.

  13. Blaiser

    New template?

    Aw crap — there goes my chance to be a Blog Crush. Damn.

  14. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    The big question is: Who left the iron out and WHY was it on the FLOOR?

    This is something you can have a big fight about, which will distract you from death, finances, health, and poochy stomachs.

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