Stress has a justifiably bad reputation for making people feel crummy. But new research suggests that despite its negative side effects, it may also lead to a surprising social benefit. In a study, a team of scientists including Penn State researchers found that experiencing stress made people both more likely to give and receive emotional support from another person. This was true on the day they experienced the stressor as well as the following day.
The researchers found that on average, participants were more than twice as likely to either give or receive emotional support on days they experienced a stressor. The researchers said they were surprised that stress was linked to people not just receiving emotional support, but giving it, as well.