How Stress Affects the Aging Process

Kim Bielenda  Health Solutions Coordinator

Kim Bielenda
Health Solutions Coordinator

This week we are going to discuss how stress can speed up the aging process. Unfortunately, everyone becomes stressed at some point but what people need to be careful of is the amount of chronic stress in their life. Chronic stress can cause a number of health issues, one being an increased risk of heart disease. It is also known to contribute to hypertension, insulin resistance, weight gain, insomnia and impairment of the immune and central nervous system. Recent studies have also shown that stress damage to DNA is behind the cause of wrinkles and gray hair.

So just how does stress age you? To keep it simple, telomeres (caps at the end of your chromosomes) keep your DNA strands from unraveling. As you age these caps do become shorter which puts individuals at risk of premature death from a variety of diseases and/or cancers. Scientific studies are showing that depression, stress, and anxiety are “speeding up” this process.

Aging is inevitable and sometimes so is one’s ability to control stress. Therefore, the important thing is to find ways cope and reduce the amount of stress in your life. Below I have listed some stress management techniques that may help you feel better!

 

  • Keep a positive attitude. Try and keep your negatives at bay, give yourself positive messages such as “I’m doing my best”.
  • Do things that you enjoy. For example, reading or gardening.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthy, balanced meals.
  • Get adequate amount of sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking and any recreational drugs.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Or just take 20 minutes per day to sit and reflect.
  • Surround yourself with loved ones.

 

 

 

 

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