Chances are if you were born in the city you’re not going to handle bad vibes as well as someone who hails from the country, according to a recent study. In a nasty little bit of research, academics at the University of Heidelberg gave participants math problems they couldn’t handle, then passed on the bad news (you failed!) through headphones. Analysis of the participants showed that a part of the brain that assesses threats and generates the emotion of fear was most active in those raised in the city. By comparison, those who grew up in the country were comparatively chilled. Just to be sure of their results, the researchers gave everyone another dose of algebra.
Interesting that how people responded related to where they were raised, not where they live now. It feels right that your tolerance for pressure is formed when you’re young. But maybe less intuitive that being raised in a fast-paced environment doesn’t condition you to deal with stress better generally. All things told, the basic outtakes are worth taking on board: leave the numbers to the bean counters, steer clear of haters, and when the weekend hits get out of town and spend some time with the kids! (Or grandkids!).

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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