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If You Use These Words A Lot, You’re Probably Stressed

And they're not the ones you're thinking of.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Sometimes it's impossible to hide your feelings when your stress levels begin to rise. Clenched teeth, cursing, and tense muscles are all the obvious signs. Well actually, it seems there are some other less-obvious giveaways too.

According to Professor of Psychology, Matthias Mehl, little words that find themselves into your vocabulary can show just how stressed you are feeling. And it's not the obvious fuck and shit either.

Professor Mehl studied 143 volunteers in the US, who all wore voice recorders for two days. He then analyzed their speech and discovered that 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 rose. It is thought this is because people are more likely to focus on themselves than others when feeling under threat.

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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 this.

According to Nature, Professor Mehl said their language actually "diagnosed" stress better than their own assessment of whether or not they were stressed.

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.