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Never let ’em see you stress

Merry Christmas. I hope today is a special time for you and your family. It’s a great day to stay in your PJs and count your blessings.

But if you’ve been keeping an eye on the news these past few weeks, you’ve seen that “the most wonderful time of the year” has turned into a real nail-biter for many — and if they’re not pulling their hair out over the presidential election, then it’s heathcare…immigration…foreign policy…

People have been yelling and carrying on about every darned thing under the sun, fighting in stores and even complaining about the color of their coffee cups.

Sounds to me like it’s time to take a deep breath and smell the nutmeg, because none of that nonsense is worth even a drop of aggravation. Once you let stress get under your skin, it can wriggle around and cause problems all over your body.

It can even creep up into your brain and eat away at your gray matter!

Yes, all that stress — especially if you’re a little prone to letting yourself get worked up — can lead to problems in the noggin, and new research shows how it could even put you in the express lane toward dementia.

And if you’re a little older and find yourself battling stress, you’re facing DOUBLE the risk of mild cognitive impairment, according to the study published in the journal Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders.

You could experience memory loss that’s worse than your typical senior brain burps — and it’s likely to speed up the onset full-blown dementia, if you let it.

The more stress you have, the higher the risk — and that’s not all a little stress can do to your body. You already know what it can do to your heart. It’s possible to get so worked up you could give yourself a coronary. But stress is also a major source of body-wrecking inflammation, and it can even screw up your hormone production.

That’s no way to live, my friend, whether it’s this time of year, or any other. You can’t always hit the rewind button on brain damage, but you CAN control what’s going to make you sweat.

So if you find something stupid getting your goat, do yourself a favor: As the song says, just LET IT GO…before it’s too late. Focus on all the good things you’ve got going for you — and hold your loved ones close.

I’ll have more on dementia later today, including the one thing anyone just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s needs to do ASAP.

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