Too Stressed Out to Socialize?

Posted on Updated on

By J. E. Hinners, MD MPH

cry-62326_1920Too stressed to be around people right now in your life?

If you are one of these people, then you may be especially prone to stress-induced social avoidance:

Did you know that you can naturally boost your own inclinations to socialize with other people–in business, with family, friends, or otherwise?

Research by Greenwood et al. investigated 161 male rats to determine whether stress protection from exercising extends to stress-induced social avoidance. The study also aimed to discover how long this kind of stress protection would last after stopping exercise.

The conclusion?

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Voluntary exercise diminished social avoidance induced by stress

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Additional findings of the study:
  • Exercise was found to reduce corticosterone increases associated with mild stress.
  • “Anxiety-like behaviors” increased when subjects were forced to STOP exercise
  • Despite the increased anxiety-like behaviors when subjects stopped exercising, the exercise benefits observed earlier still continued after subjects stopped exercising (for up to 15 days)
 

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Quick Takeaway Tip
If you are experiencing high stress levels and need an extra boost to be able to socialize with important people in your life — take time out for a workout and make sure that exercise is a consistent priority in your life. Exercise is a natural socialization helper!
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