Seven Reasons to Chill-Out

Chilling OutAttending classes at Carrington should be a fun experience, but it can also be stressful. We’re all different, and some of us react better to stress than others. But in recognition of April being National Stress Awareness Month, here are seven proven reasons why you should try to find time to chill-out and relax when you can.

1.   It’s good for the heart

Dedicate part of your day to focus on actually relaxing. Stress can seriously increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and other heart problems. 1

2.   It’s helps your body regulate inflammation & stay healthy

Relaxing lowers your risk of catching a cold. Chronic stress lasting more than a doubles a person’s risk of catching a cold.2

3.   Relaxing can boost your memory

At least in mice, chronic stress has been shown to impair the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in abstract thought, cognitive analysis & detecting appropriate behavior. Research has shown that under stress mice struggled to remember how to find their way through a maze.3

4.   Relaxing lowers your risk of stroke

A 2007 study found that people who coped the best with stressful life events had a 24% lower risk of stroke. It could be partly due to the fact that those who handle stress well are often healthy in other ways, like exercising regularly and not smoking.4

5.   Relaxing could slow breast cancer

While research on the effects of stress on cancer growth are largely inconclusive, there is some evidence pointing toward a link between stress and breast cancer aggressiveness. Relaxing not only seems to delay the progression of the disease, but may also speed recovery.5

6.   Relaxing keeps you slim

Everyone loves comfort food, but they are often high in fat and sugar; they can pack on the pounds. Stress makes it harder to resist these naughty treats. Cortisol increases appetite, and may even specifically encourage junk food cravings. Relaxing can help you minimize those cravings.6

7.   Relaxing eases acne

It’s a vicious cycle: you get stressed about a paper that’s due, so you break out, and then you’re stressed about the breakout! In 2003, a Stanford University study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that college students had acne flare-ups during exams, a period in which they reported more stress, compared to periods without testing. 7

Share with us in the comments below how you find time, and what you do, to relax?

1- www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems

2 – Carnegie Mellon University. “How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit.” ScienceDaily, 2 April 2012. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm

3 – www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(12)00083-9

4- University of Cambridge 2007 – news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6936847.stm

5 – American Association for Cancer Research. “Association found between stress and breast cancer aggressiveness.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2011. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919131602.htm

6- University of Calgary. “Scientists highlight link between stress and appetite.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2011. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110812213034.htm

7 – www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-care-11/stress-and-acne