In a culture of constant over-scheduling, it seems like everyone is stressed. Think about it: When was the last time you told someone that you had so much going on or that you had just come up for air after a long day at the office? It’s nothing to brag about.
Take a study published last year in the journal Neurology: It found that in otherwise healthy, middle-aged people, high levels of stress were linked with increases in brain thinning and smaller amounts of crucial gray matter in the brain. But the effects of stress on your body go beyond your mind: It can make your more susceptible to illness, lead to addictive behaviors, spike your blood pressure, induce headaches, and even lower your sex drive.
The human stress response was designed to be acute (you know, to help you run away from that tiger during the caveman days) not chronic, lingering with you day-in and day-out. If your levels are teetering on the latter? There are endless ways to chill out—starting with these 28 tips from experts and research alike.
Excerpted from Prevention