The links between chronic stress and heart problems are well documented, and increasing research is finding links between stress and cognitive health, too. In a recent study, middle-aged adults who had higher levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol did worse on tasks that involved memory and brain functions compared with those who had lower levels of cortisol, and they also showed brain shrinkage. The good news is that there are many avenues for taking your stress levels down a notch—or ten—and helping to protect your brain health as you age. Starting a regular exercise routine can help you manage stress, as can practicing yoga or meditation. Prioritizing good sleep is essential, and simply taking a five-minute break during your workday to walk around the block, stretch, or breathe deeply can help, too. Get into the habit of turning off your screens in the evening to let your body and mind unwind and rest.
Source: Study associates stress with impaired memory, reduced brain size in middle age
“Regulate the breathing and thereby control the mind.” B.K.S. Iyengar