A study identified 15 of life’s most stressful situations that can cause the brain to age by at least four years.
In a study of more than 1,300 people between ages 50 and 60 from the United States, specialists from the University of Wisconsin asked participants to take memory and problem-solving tests, which were later used to measure their cognitive abilities. The analysis found that the traumatic events that most affect the brain include:
- Being held back a year from school, being expelled or dropping out of school. Failing to succeed academically at high school or college, or being sent far away from home as a punishment.
- Having a parent that is unemployed.
- Having a parent or parents that are alcoholics or drug abusers.
- Being fired from your job and being unemployed for a long period of time.
- The death of a parent during childhood.
- The death of a partner.
- Parents getting divorced.
- A child that is dying or becoming ill.
- Being cheated on by your partner.
- Having problems with your in-laws.
- Losing your home due to a natural disaster, fire or flood.
- Being sent to jail or going through serious legal problems.
- Being sexually or physically abused.
- Joining the armed forces or serving in combat.
- Going bankrupt, experiencing financial loss or having to live in poverty.
Yoga and meditation help reduce stress levels and symptoms of anxiety, pain and insomnia. They also help improve attention spans.