According to the American Psychological Association’s report, Stress in America, last year, 34% of U.S. adults said that stress is completely overwhelming them most days. For folks ages 18 to 24 and 35 to 44, it’s even more oppressive: 56% and 48% respectively reported being KO’d by stress.
You probably know that unrelenting stress can cause physical illness (obesity, chronic pain, heart disease, headaches, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction) and emotional turmoil, fracturing relationships, damaging work performance, and triggering depression. But new research shows it also increases the risk for Alzheimer’s.
The study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, says that people with chronic stress are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as those without unrelenting tension; and when that chronic stress is joined by depression, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is up to four times as great.
What are the best stress-busting moves you can make? Number 1 is to cultivate a posse and a passion. Reach out to friends and family for love and connection and do acts of generosity to help others. And find a reason to get up and going every morning. Number 2 is 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Number 3 combines mindful meditation and breathing exercises (instructions are available on LongevityPlaybook.com).
Also, try establishing a regular bedtime (detaching from digital devices an hour before); eliminating highly processed foods that fuel inflammation and feed stress; and finding a talk therapist to help you modify your behaviors. Taking these steps will make your todays — and tomorrows — happier and healthier.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. Check out his latest, “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow,” and find out more at www.longevityplaybook.com. Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Mike at [email protected].
King Features Syndicate