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Reactions To Everyday Stress Could Predict Future Mental Health, Study Finds

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Letting everyday stress get to you could negatively affect your future mental health, according to a new study, which is the latest to show that it's not just the stress, but how we handle it that affects our well-being.

The new findings, published in the journal Psychological Science, show that people who experienced negative emotions from everyday stressful situations have a higher risk of psychological distress or a diagnosis with a condition like depression or anxiety a decade in the future.

"These findings suggest that the average levels of negative affect that people experience and how they respond to seemingly minor events in their daily lives have long-term implications for their mental health," researchers, from the University of California, Irvine, wrote in the study.

The study included 711 people ages 25 to 74 who were involved in either the Midlife Development in the United States study or the National Study of Daily Experiences. Researchers measured the study participants' negative emotions on a daily level, as well as diagnoses of conditions such as depression and anxiety 10 years after the beginning of the study.

And poorly handling stress may not just take a toll on your future mental health -- a past study in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed it could take a toll on physical health 10 years later, too. Researchers for that study found that people who were more stressed over everyday problems had a high risk of developing conditions such as heart disease or arthritis a decade later.

Similarly, a study in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that our perceptions of our own stress could also influence our heart disease risk.

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