Protesting is good for your health

Taking part in protests and demonstrations can be good for your
physical and mental health, a British study released recently
has found.

Psychologists at the University of Sussex found that people involved
in campaigns, strikes and political demonstrations experience an
improvement in psychological well-being that can help them overcome
stress, pain, anxiety and depression.

"The take-home message from this research therefore might be that
people should get more involved in campaigns, struggles and social
movements, not only in the wider interest of social change but also
for their own personal good", researcher Dr John Drury told the
Reuters news service.

Volunteers were asked to describe what it was about taking part in
such collective action that made them feel so good. Drury said the
interviews revealed that the key factors were that participants felt
they had a collective identity with fellow protesters. They also
derived a sense of unity and mutual support from taking part.

Such was the strength of the feelings they experienced that the
effects appear to be sustained over a period of time.

From Green Left Weekly, January 15, 2003.
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