Science Just Confirmed That What Doesn't Kill You Really Will Make You Stronger

by Jamie LeeLo

The next time your best friend goes through a terrible breakup and "OMG totally thinks she's going to die," you can finally look at her with confidence and say truthfully, "What doesn't kill you WILL make you stronger."

Science, you sexy animal. Always proving stuff true or false.

A study from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) has found that by undergoing short trauma or stress, your body creates stronger cells that are better prepared for future, more stressful problems.

Think of it like lifting weights. As you lift, you're breaking down your muscle fibers, causing strain. As your muscle heals, it rebuilds the fibers that make you stronger.

Scientists are talking about the same thing here, but on a molecular level.

The study, published in Nature Communications, explains a process known as autophagy, which is "...recycling cells' old, broken, or unneeded parts so that their components can be re-used to make new molecules or be burned for energy."

In other words, it's a term that explains how temporary stress can lead to longevity for an individual in the long run.

Associate Professor at SBP, Malene Hansen, Ph.D conducted the study in relation to Huntington's Disease, a hereditary disorder that ultimately leads to the degeneration of the brain as a person ages.

Hansen and her team put autophagy to the test by observing the survival habits of tiny ringworms (NO THANK YOU!).

By storing the worms at a higher temperature than they're normally used to for one hour, researchers found that their survival abilities grew. In fact, when those worms were placed back into the heat along with other worms that weren't previously exposed, they were able to tolerate much better than their regular room temperature counter parts.

So, what does this mean for your love life?

Well, the next time you find yourself in hot water with your partner, think about your little worm friends and how this is ultimately preparing your for bigger, more complicated drama that might be down the road.

You're a warrior, is what I'm saying. And this is your montage where you work out and run up the steps to happily every after —like Rocky, but different.

Citations: How Do Muscles Grow? The Science of Muscle Growth (Built Lean), What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger (EurekAlert!)