Feeling stressed out all the time can wreak havoc on your health, with effects ranging from relatively minor (who hasn't woken up to an anxiety-induced breakout?) to downright severe, including an elevated risk for cancer and heart disease. But it turns out that sweating the small stuff may actually do a body good

By Christine Mattheis
September 06, 2013
Stress takes a toll on concentration, says Dr. Wilens. “It competes with your cognitive centers—the areas in the brain that are responsible for quick, sharp thoughts—so being anxious or stressed drags focus down even further,” he says. Consider meditation: Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that the relaxation technique can increase your ability to block out distractions. Another study, from researchers at UCLA, suggests that in adults with ADHD, meditation improves attention and eases symptoms of anxiety and depression.See your doc if: You have other mood disorders related to stress, such as anxiety and depression, which often coincide with ADHD. Also, consider it if stress is making inattention or distraction worse, which, in turn, is negatively impacting your job, relationships, or academics. Taking this ADHD self-screening quiz, and discussing the results with your doctor, may help quantify how you're feeling.
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Feeling stressed out all the time can wreak havoc on your health, with effects ranging from relatively minor (who hasn't woken up to an anxiety-induced breakout?) to downright severe, including an elevated risk for cancer and heart disease. (Read all 25 health effects of stress.) But it turns out that sweating the small stuff may actually do a body good. A University at Buffalo study suggests that isolated, short-term bouts of anxiety may help sharpen focus and improve working memory. Why? Acute stress fires up the portion of your brain that controls learning and memory. So next time you momentarily panic over your missing car keys, take some comfort in the fact that you may have inadvertently given yourself a brain boost. (Read more at Refinery 29)
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