A recent study is showing that women who experience mid-life stress have a higher likelihood of encountering memory loss later in life. In other words, listen up.
Everybody goes through stress at some point—you might even be reading this to take your mind off something pressing. But it seems like failing to adequately deal with stress might have long-term risks for your brain. Finding ways to cope with life’s daily stressors: work, traffic, finances, as well as significant life events like job loss, divorce, the death of a loved one or retirement, might play an essential role in maintaining memory in advanced age.
The physical impact of stress is well documented. Stress and anxiety can lead to headaches, fatigue, aches, and pains, upset stomach, and insomnia. It can also have more long-term effects like increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and stroke.
Published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, a recent study shows that women, in particular, may be susceptible to long-term mental impacts of stress.
It’s easy to put off today’s stressors as “a part of life.” But if you’re having trouble enjoying life, finding constructive ways to deal with stress might help reduce the risk of future memory problems. Natural stress relievers like meditation, mindfulness, exercise, tai chi, and massage can all induce calm and potentially protect future memory capabilities.
For the bigger, life-altering stressors—job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, retirement—finding ways to manage stress is even more important. Having a routine with activities is undoubtedly one way to relieve stress, as is engaging with friends, family, and other support groups. Sometimes speaking with a professional to help get through stressful situations is very useful.
Reducing stress might be just one way to lower the risk of memory loss. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, limiting alcohol, and getting exercise each day can also help maintain brain health and promote better memory.