New research shows that depression and chronic stress can shrink your brain. Patients who had been depressed exhibited lower levels of expression in genes that are required for the function and structure of brain synapses (where signals pass from one neuron to another).

To combat everyday stress, get enough sleep and incorporate relaxing activities, like meditation and tai chi, into your routine. But if you think you’re at risk of chronic stress or depression, consult with a doctor or therapist.