Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of The Stress Institute in Atlanta, offers five reasons we should de-stress:
1. We laugh more. “When people laugh their artery diameter increases, and when they are stressed it decreases,” says Hall. “Our vital organs need that precious oxygen.”
2. We’re more active. Studies show that many people get as much relief from depression by exercising as from taking antidepressants.
3. We’re more social. People who have connections with people they love are healthier and have lower blood pressure, and their brains produce more oxytocin, which has a calming effect.
4. We sleep better, which leads to less obesity and more creativity.
5. We’re more creative and have new ideas that don’t have a chance to thrive when we’re stressed.