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Lower stress now for better brain health later.   
Daily Dose
If you keep putting off doing something to manage stressful events, stop procrastinating. In fact, now is a perfectly good time to get started: close your eyes, put your feet on the floor, unclench your jaw and relax your shoulders, and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Doesn’t that feel good? The big benefits may come down the road. The links between chronic stress and heart problems are well documented, and increasing research is finding links between stress and cognitive health, too. (“What’s good for the heart is good for the brain,” goes a common saying.) In a recent study, middle-aged adults who had higher levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol did worse on tasks that involved memory and brain functions compared with those who had lower levels of cortisol, and they also showed brain shrinkage. The good news is that there are many avenues for taking your stress levels down a notch—or ten—and helping to protect your brain health as you age. Starting a regular exercise routine can help you manage stress, as can practicing yoga or meditation. Prioritizing good sleep is essential, and simply taking a five-minute break during your workday to walk around the block, stretch, or breathe deeply can help, too. Get into the habit of turning off your screens in the evening to let your body and mind unwind and rest. Start with one stress-management habit, and when you have that down, try another. Or let our 6-week Stress Free Now program be your guide!

Source: Study associates stress with impaired memory, reduced brain size in middle age

ADDED TO  Wellness Tips, Stress, Brain Health  297 days 8 hours 24 min ago
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