Skip to content

Why Stress is Good for You: The New Science of Emotional Fitness

  • April 19, 2023

Stress: if we just had less, we would be healthier and happier.

Actually, no.


Good stress improves health and happiness while bad stress diminishes both.


The lack of good stress, called challenge stress, is what is missing from your brother-in-law's life -- yeah, the guy who sits on the couch all day drinking beer and playing video games.

Without challenges, motivation wanes and the brain atrophies. For those those without goals, the world becomes smaller as the number of relationships shrinks because one is doing so little.

Poor social relationships are associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke. Social isolation is on par with smoking as a leading cause of early death according to the CDC.[1]

Chronic stress is the bad stress. This is the stress that keeps you up a night, raises blood press and stress hormones. This leads to heart disease and diabetes and substantially imperils the quality of relationships. Chronic stress damages the brain, especially areas associated with memories and impulse control. A Harvard University study of GE executives found that senior leaders died 3-5 years earlier compared to mid-level employees.[2]

Here's the problem: every single wearable device that seeks to measure stress only measures chronic stress.

Typical metrics include blood pressure and heart rate variability. But, if you're working out, your blood pressure will go up and your heart rate variability will go down. And you know working out is good for you.

Immersion - the technology that powers Wondr - created the only neurologic measure of social engagement, a key part of good stress.


This might be a challenging game of volleyball or working with your team on a new project for a client. Both induce challenges and are time-limited producing good stress not distress. As social creatures, we get substantial neurologic value from social interactions. Our published peer-reviewed science shows that without peak immersion experiences, mood drops, energy plummets. If this continues, depression is likely to arise.[3]

People can bring us joy, but they can also induce chronic stress. This is why the Immersion platform also includes a physiologic measure of psychological safety. The sum of these two effects--peak Immersion with psychological safety--is the recipe for a fulfilled, healthy and longer life as our research has shown.[4]  

I live in the only "Blue Zone" in the United States--regions where people regularly live past 100 years old. The recipe for a long and happy life has been scientifically established: Get enough sleep, eat moderate amounts of healthy foods, exercise, and sustain high-quality relationships. The first three are easily measured. The quality of social relationships was not....until now.

Employees, patients, and frankly everyone want to flourish. Immersion facilitates flourishing by giving people a daily goal for peak immersion experiences so that everyone gains the benefits of high-quality social relationships. Ten-thousand steps is a great twentieth-century measure of physical fitness. Immersion's peak experience goal is the 21st century's measure of emotional fitness.

But, of course only if you want to be happier, healthier and live longer. Reach out today to learn more.



Related Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Wellness for Patients

January 9, 2023
Keeping Vulnerable Populations Emotionally Healthy Fully 50% of the population will suffer at least one bout of...

Reimagining Digital Interactions: Putting Humanity First

May 15, 2023
In an era dominated by technology, we often overlook the impact it has on our social interactions and emotional...

How the science of wondr is proven to predict mood & energy levels two days in advance.

October 14, 2022
Imagine if you could know on Monday how your day is likely to go on Wednesday? That's what we were are able to do using...