Relaxing protects your heart, reduces your risk of catching a cold, boosts your memory, lowers stroke risk, may help ward off depression, help one make better decisions, help keep you slim, eases acne, will help keep you “in the mood,” and could slow breast cancer. Chronic stress lasting over a month but under six months doubled a person’s chance of getting a cold. It appears stress decreases the body’s ability to fight inflammation. Stress can also impair the centers of the brain involved in memory and learning. The article also suggested that prolonged exposure to the stress hormone cortisol can reduce levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are linked to depression. Stress is also likely to exacerbate mood problems in individual’s with a history of depression and could trigger a relapse. Stress can change how one views risks and rewards and can cloud judgment when making a decision. Stressed individuals tend to focus on the positive and not take into proper consideration the cons of his or her decision. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases appetite, and may even specifically encourage junk food cravings. Stress can make individuals crave comfort foods while also making it harder to resist those cravings. Stress increases the amount of oil produced by the skin and can decrease libido. Relaxing may aid in slowing the progression of breast cancer and may also speed recovery. Read Article
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