Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp: Full in Detail

Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp

According to a recent analysis of health information on more than 24,000 individuals, high stress levels are likely to increase the risk of cognitive decline, which can affect memory, concentration, reasoning ability, and other brain functions.

Chronic stress can deplete the body and have a negative effect on nearly every aspect of health, according to prior research. Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been linked, specifically with the brain, to memory problems and a shrinkage of the hippocampus, a part of the brain crucial for memory functions.

According to lead author Ambar Kulshreshtha, MD, an associate professor of preventive medicine and epidemiology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, “our study finds that even general stress can lead to cognitive decline.”.

Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp
Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp

Even though it’s not always possible to completely eliminate stress, Dr. Kulshreshtha argues that by practicing self-care, we can learn to cope with stress in healthier ways. He continues, “There are many ways to cope with stress in healthy ways, including practicing mindfulness and placing a priority on healthy lifestyle decisions like staying active, getting enough sleep, and socializing.”.

Although everyone deals with stress in a different way, Kulshreshtha emphasizes the importance of having a few tools on hand. “”In the end, all of this would help to maintain brain health and mental acuity. ”. ”.

Adults of color and women reported experiencing more stress.

Increased levels of perceived stress were linked to a 37 percent higher risk of poor cognition, according to research by Kulshreshtha and his colleagues. Data from 10,177 Black participants (42%) and 14,271 White participants (58%) formed the basis of their conclusions. The ages of the people ranged from 45 to 98. Nearly 23% of participants, including six out of ten of the subjects who were female, reported having high levels of stress.

According to the study’s authors, participants who reported feeling more stress were more likely to be female, Black, and younger.

Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp

Results showed that compared to men, only 30% of female participants reported having elevated stress levels. Compared to just under half of white participants, slightly more than half of Black participants reported having elevated stress. The average age of those under high stress was 62, whereas the average age of those under low stress was 64.

The risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, were more frequently seen among those under higher stress.

Why Are Some Groups More Prone to Stress?

Yuko Hara, PhD, director of aging and prevention at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, hypothesizes that people in their forties and fifties may have high-stress job responsibilities in addition to the financial and emotional stress of raising children as the reason younger participants may experience more stress.Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp.

According to Dr. Hara, who was not involved in the study, the difference in stress levels between men and women may be the result of the greater responsibilities women may have when juggling childcare and household duties, frequently while holding down a job.

According to her, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. Furthermore, women bear a heavier caregiver burden than men. An extremely stressful situation is caring for a family member. ”.

According to the study’s authors, stress brought on by prejudice and poverty is more common among African Americans. The results show that, despite the fact that white people may experience higher levels of stress for various reasons, the effects of stress on their cognitive decline are similar.

Low educated and low-income individuals are also more prone to experience higher levels of stress.. According to Kulshreshtha, they encounter daily difficulties with regard to childcare, elder support, food, income, and housing insecurity.

Additionally, residents of the Southeast of the United States were more likely to have elevated stress. Because stroke rates are more than 30% higher than the national average in this area of the country, epidemiologists refer to it as the “Stroke Belt.”.

Reduce Stress by Taking Action.

The study is significant because it increases awareness of factors related to stress that may increase the risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia, according to Percy Griffin, , PhD, the Alzheimer’s Association’s director of scientific engagement.

“The more we comprehend how lifestyle and, according to him, “we will be better prepared to design and implement effective multi-component strategies to reduce risk of cognitive decline and dementia.,” he claims, “the more we understand how lifestyle and behavioral issues impact cognition and dementia risk.”.

Managing Stress Could Keep Your Mind Sharp

Hara lists a number of strategies people can use to reduce stress, such as eating a healthy diet, getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night, engaging in enough physical activity, and seeking counseling when necessary.

Making time to unwind and connect with trusted people is also crucial, according to her. You could try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga as relaxation techniques. It can also be beneficial to invest time in enjoyable pursuits like your hobbies.

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