We know that a little stress can be good for you, but when you're constantly feeling under pressure—overwhelmed, anxious, totally frazzled—the effects can actually add up to something dangerous. As if a clear, peaceful mind wasn't incentive enough to de-stress, we rounded up some of the scariest ways stress can wreak havoc on our bodies—from fueling cancer to raising the risk of heart attacks.
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Even for healthy people, stressful moments can take a toll on the brain, a new study from Yale University suggests.
Researchers reported in the journal Biological Psychiatry that stressful occasions—such as going through a divorce or being laid off—can actually shrink the brain by reducing gray matter in regions tied to emotion and physiological functions. This is important because these changes in brain gray matter could signal future psychiatric problems, researchers warned.