You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

If you use these words a lot, you're probably stressed

Prima (UK) logo Prima (UK) 10/11/2017 Natasha Rigler

© provided by National magazine company ltd (hearst UK) Sometimes it's impossible to hide your feelings when your stress levels begin to rise. Clenched teeth, headaches and tense muscles are all the obvious signs. But it seems there are some other less-noticeable giveaways too. 

According to Professor of Psychology, Matthias Mehl, little words that slip into your vocabulary unknowingly can show just how stressed you're feeling. And it's not the obvious swear words...

Professor Mehl studied 143 volunteers in the US, who all wore voice recorders for two days. He then analysed their speech and discovered they would all use more adjectives (describing words) and adverbs (such as 'really' and 'incredibly') when their stress levels began to rise.

Interestingly, he also found they were less likely to use third-person plural pronouns (such as 'they' or 'their') when tension flared. It's thought this is because people are more likely to focus on themselves rather than others when feeling under threat.

Along with studying the volunteers' voice recordings, Professor Mehl – who works at the University of Arizona – also examined the expression in their white blood cells of 50 genes influenced by stress. Incredibly, he found the speech analysis more accurate than the data from their cells.

Summing it up, according to Nature, Professor Mehl said their language actually 'diagnosed' stress better than their own assessment of whether or not they were stressed.

Related: 14 ways to combat work stress

Survive the 9 to 5 14 ways to combat work stress

For more of the most popular News, Sport, Lifestyle & Entertainment on MSN, Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Prima

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon