NYC STRESSES & MEMORY LOSS

NYC STRESSES & MEMORY LOSS

Stress in NYC

Living in NYC is stressful.  It feels like the subways never function properly anymore and the demands of everyday life here in this hectic city can easily weigh you down.  Even worse, the cold weather and early sunsets mean fewer opportunities to feel the calming effects of enjoying the sunshine while being outside with friends.  And as a result, we find it more difficult to relax, and we get stressed! You probably heard stories of stress leading to weight gain, lack of sleep, grumpy moods and an even higher risk of dementia in elderly people – but did you know that stress also leads to memory loss at a younger age?

Why It’s Important To Destress

When we get stressed, the stress hormone cortisol is released by the adrenal glands as part of the fight-or-flight mechanism. This bodily response is good because it helps our bodies and brains handle bouts of anxiety and stress with ease.  However, when the stress and anxiety are constant and reoccurring, our bodies experience an elevated level cortisol.  Elevated cortisol levels increase the risk of depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy. Moreover, in a recent study that examined a group of men and women with an average age of 48, researchers found that people with the highest levels of cortisol had the most memory loss.  This means that stress negatively affects our thinking and short-term memory.  “Acute or chronic stress can cause the suppression of the hippocampus – the learning and memory area of the brain – making it more difficult for the brain to store and retrieve information.” Memory loss isn’t just a symptom of old age or Alzheimer’s anymore – it’s also a sign of a younger person who is in a state of constant stress and anxiety. It’s even more important than we originally thought to keep our stress levels at a minimum starting now!  But don’t let this news stress you out…

Now I’m Even More Stressed!

Oftentimes people think that distressing is a luxury when it’s really a necessity.  Hopefully, the potential for memory loss helps you recognize the significance of taking time to de-stress.  Moreover, distressing doesn’t have to include expensive activities and services like massages, spas and meditation centers.  You can de-stress in your own apartment without breaking the bank. Taking a soothing shower is one easy and inexpensive way to calm down.  It’s a great way to relax because being underwater forces you to detach from all technology, social media and emails while focusing on yourself for as long as you like.  You can’t even check your phone (unless you want it to get drenched in water and malfunction!). Another way to relax in your apartment for free is to listen to music. It may sound overly simple but the calming power of music is well-established.  Even better, listening to a song that you love and know all the lyrics to is a great way to distract yourself from whatever is causing you anxiety. Another way to calm down is to simply phone a friend. It is well-known that human connections have to ability to reduce our stress levels.  Friends make us laugh, help us solve problems and help us understand that we’re not alone.

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