Stress, when it persists over time, causes vascular changes and chemical imbalances that are damaging to the brain and other cells in your body.
Experiencing some stress is part of everyday life, so how you manage it is important to your long-term health.
By reducing the harmful effects of stress on your body, you improve your brain health and you may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
You can reduce the harmful effects of stress on your mind and body through meditation, deep breathing, massage or physical exercise. The key is to explore a variety of techniques and find those that work for you.
Symptoms of chronic stress may include the following:
Emotional: depression, tension, anxiety, anger, worry, fear
Physical: headache, fatigue, insomnia, sweating
Mental: poor concentration, memory loss, indecisiveness, confusion
Behavioural: fidgeting, overeating, alcohol and drug abuse
If symptoms of stress persist, contact your doctor.
Steps you can take to reduce stress
- Take personal time for yourself. Exercise, relaxation, entertainment, hobbies and socializing are essential parts of our health and well-being. Everyone needs to find a balance that limits stress and helps maintain optimal health.
- Identify unrealistic expectations and try to accept what cannot be changed.
- Seek and accept support.
- Be prepared – new or unfamiliar situations can create stress and anxiety.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- For more great ways to take action on brain health, visit our BrainBooster® activity pages.
Note: Your abilities, health and interests should be taken into consideration when choosing brain healthy activities. If you have questions about your own situation, speak to your doctor or health care provider.
Last Updated: 11/10/14