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If you’re currently plowing through the stressful years of life in the hope that it will lead to a more relaxing future, you might want to reconsider your approach.

Teenagers who have a tendency to get stressed out more easily than others may have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, according to a new study out of Stanford University. To come up with that link, researchers followed 1.5 million men who were conscripted into the Swedish army. Each one of them received a psychological evaluation of their “stress resiliency” (one’s ability to handle stress), before researchers followed up decades later to see how their health had changed after exposure to the military.

What they found was that men who had originally scored low in stress resiliency were 40 per cent more likely to develop hypertension. If you add obesity to the mix, the chances go up even more.

So how can you tell if you’re not particularly adept at handling stress? There are some things to look out for. Generally people who have low self-esteem, or who are constantly angry, or who isolate themselves all the time–those are people who would likely score low in stress resiliency because their stress has manifested itself in noticeable, negative ways. By contrast, those who exhibit qualities like high self-worth, a solution-oriented mindset or a willingness to approach others for help, would score higher.

If you fall into the low-stress resiliency group, don’t fret. At least you’re now aware of it. And with visits to a psychologist or therapist, you may be able to receive training to help you manage life’s stresses more efficiently.

For more information on the link between early exposure to stress and hypertension, check out the video above. And if you keep watching, there will be more videos with tips on simple things you can do to alleviate the stress in your life right now.

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