Sometimes it seems an impossible task - stepping away from daily stresses and clearing your mind. But if you don't at least give it a shot, there could be serious long-term consequences.
"Long-standing stress we're showing contributes to learning and memory loss."
Christine Wright teaches those at LSU Health Shreveport who work with patients suffering from dementia, an umbrella term for a variety of aging-related brain diseases. She says pro-longed stress prompts the body to enter fight-or-flight mode.
"The body is supposed to do that but it's only supposed to do that for a short period of time and then it's supposed to go back to resting state."
When stressed, our blood pressure rises and our heart beats faster, pumping the brain cell killing hormone cortisol into the bloodstream.
"Our body is attempting to try and deal with some kind of event that's not really even there."
Some research has shown that stressed middle-aged women are 65 percent more likely to develop dementia.
And although genetic and other factors play a huge role, Wright says it's never too early to make lifestyle changes to improve your mental health.
"You can start exercising, you can try a new hobby or leisure activity. You can do everything you want to do but do it now."
A study in Finland will monitor 140 people over 50 with mild memory problems over 18 months.
They will be assessed for levels of stress and any movement from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of those with this impairment will go on to develop Alzheimer's.
So far, Finnish scientists have found that patients with high blood pressure and high cortisol levels were more than three times as likely to develop Alzheimer's than those without these conditions.
A number of illnesses are already known to develop develop earlier or made worse by chronic stress including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis.