Put your stress on vacation

Los Angeles Times:

Got stress?

If you answered no, hooray for you! (And, by the way, what planet are you from?)

But if you answered yes (like any normal member of the human race), you’re likely heartened by the arrival of vacation season. Just the ticket for a little stress-reduction.

And that can have some big payoffs. It can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and help you live longer. It may even make you smarter.

“A vacation is not a luxury,” says Jens Pruessner, an associate professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal. “It’s an investment in your health.”

Most of what scientists know about the brain and chronic stress comes from studies of rodents, whose response systems are very much like ours (perhaps disconcertingly so) and who therefore make good stand-ins for us. But rodents rarely pack their bags and head for the beach when summer rolls around, so it’s harder to use them as models for vacationers.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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