It's the paradox of youth: As a twenty- or thirtysomething, you're working hard to establish your career, build relationships, pay the bills, and maybe start a family. You should be having fun, but instead you're constantly stressed.

Chances are your nervous system—the body's master command center that regulates stress hormones and moods through chemicals called neurotransmitters—is out of whack, leaving you vulnerable to depression, panic attacks, and heart disease. The good news?

It's easy to nurture your neurotransmitters with mood-boosting foods, anxiety-squelching supplements, and simple strategies that bring calm to your day. Start building a baseline of emotional and physical wellness now, and set yourself up for optimal health later in life.

"How we choose to handle stress is up to each of us individually. I consciously choose to pick my battles carefully. I've learned that most things give way to simple resolutions if you are patient and give it a little time." —Lisa Chirico, 38, Lone Tree, Colorado