Warning: Reading this may stress you out—but if you have your man read it, he'll stay cool.
That's right, the information we are fed nonstop via the Internet, smartphones, twitter, Facebook, news app alerts, and 24-hour news channels triggers the stress hormone cortisol in women more than in men, a Canadian study found.
Researchers at the University of Montreal gather a group of 60 men and women and measured their salivary levels of cortisol while they read both neutral news (such as park and movie openings) and negative reports (things like murders and accidents). Cortisol levels were then measured again during "stressful" tasks.
Women who read about negative events had higher levels of the hormone during the later task than the gals who read the neutral news. Guys, however, did not experience the same reaction.
In a press release announcing the findings, lead study author Marie-France Marin said, "Although the news stories alone did not increase stress levels, they did make the women more reactive, affecting their physiological responses to later stressful situations.”
The reason is all biological, of course. Researchers speculate that women emote more empathy and have stronger reactions to better protect their offspring.
But don't let this freak you out, especially since cortisol can retain unwanted belly flab no matter how many crunches you do! Keep reading the news, good or bad, and use our tips on how to manage stress. And be sure to nip the stress-induced emotional eating in the bud with these strategies before you go down that road.