There are plenty of studies these days geared at getting more people to take more prescription drugs, most of which are completely unnecessary.
So I was pleased to hear the news out of Stockholm that found a new weapon in the battle against Alzheimer's, and this one doesn't come in a bottle.
The study found that people who have less stress have a lower risk of dementia. It also found a lower risk in people who are more socially active. And the best news of all is that people with low stress and active social lives appear to have the lowest risk of all.
The researchers believe that extroverted people handle stress better and are less prone to depression. And that makes perfect sense. Stress unleashes hormones that are damaging to your brain, heart and other organs, so it's hardly surprising that people with less of it have a lower risk of dementia. They have a lower risk of many other things, too – and they're almost certainly happier overall.
So if you find yourself constantly battling stress, or if you think that maybe you're just a little lonely, you can begin helping yourself right now. First, identify the things in your life that give you stress. Eliminate or reduce those things when you can, but you'll probably find that proves easier said than done. For those stresses you can't eliminate, you'll want to change how you respond to them. It'll take time, and you might need some help, but you can get there if you want to.
Secondly, be more socially active. Get out with your friends, spend time with your family, join a club or take up a sport.
You'll live longer, you'll live better, and you'll live healthier.