Warning: How Relentless Stress is Aging You At Warp Speed
Do You Know How Stressed You Are?
If you want to measure just how stressed you are, take this quiz:
QUIZ: How Good Are You At Coping With Stress? CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE QUIZ.
Few people enjoy the feeling of being stressed, especially day in and day out. Eventually, you start looking and feeling grey and haggard or at least feel that way on the inside. Until recently, no one knew just how adversely stress impacts your aging process.
At the end of your, DNA is telomeres, like the tips at the end of your shoelaces. Telomere protects the end of your DNA from unraveling, which leads to not only disease but early aging.
Each time your DNA divides it loses a bit of its telomeres, but the enzyme telomerase can work to replenish the protective casing at the end of your strands of DNA. Unless that is, you are suffering from chronic stress.
Experiencing chronic stress floods your system with excessive cortisol, insulin, inflammation, and oxidative stress, which lowers your supply of telomerase.
With too low a supply of telomerase, your telomeres can’t replenish and shorten, and you age faster.
The bad news is that in a study by the American Psychological Association, 42% of American adults reported their level of stress to have risen over the past five years.
Are You Doomed to Age Faster Due to Stress?
Quite a few people just power through stress, forging ahead, and accept stress as something they cannot change.
If you are caring for an ill family member, working in a job with high uncertainty or pressure, going through a divorce, grieving the loss of a loved one, or just lost your job, you might just decide stress is the uncontrollable side effect.
The truth is, you have the power to develop stress resiliency.
If you don’t take action, the chronic stress will shorten your telomeres, cause you to age faster, and decrease your ‘health span,’ in which you live disease free and with vitality.
Most people know that eating unprocessed foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as well as trading in sugar drinks and alcohol for pure water and tea, will improve their health. They know that getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night and exercising will make a dramatic change in not only their health but their well-being and ability to perform well at work as well.
Yet until recently, there was no indication how these activities were impacting longevity in general and your health span in particular. After all, who wants to live a long life in most of the end of it is spent in suffering?
So You Don’t Care When You’ll Die
You may not care when you die, but do you care how you look? Chronic stress and the resulting shortening of telomeres can cause you to start looking haggard and fat.
Stress was built into us so that we could ensure our short-term survival. Our bodies simply do not cope well with long-term stress. Chronic stress can increase addictive tendencies, which can cause us to reach out for more junk food.
Then, intra-abdominal fat cells are triggered by your stress to take on more fat as the chemical neuropeptide Y. The result? You develop a ring of abdominal fat, whereas someone who isn’t stressed most likely will not.
Long-term stress not only shortens your telomeres, but it also fatigues your adrenals. Continually elevated stress levels cause your internal organs to become deleted of raw materials to produce key hormones and neurotransmitters.
Adrenal fatigue can cause you to feel constantly tired, overwhelmed, irritable, anxious, give you digestion problems, and cause you to get sick more often as your immune system is weakened.
Did you know you can actually use up all your adrenaline and cortisol, known as the stress hormones? It’s true, what happens next? The body seeks a solution by stealing sex hormones, resulting in a reduction in sex drive and vitality.
Prescription Against Stress and Early Aging
The most exciting results of Elizabeth Blackburn, the Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist’s link between stress and telomere length is you can change how stress impacts your body.
“If you have a stressful year, yes, your telomere may take a hit, but not if you are doing the daily work of health maintenance- exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, and getting enough sleep. If you’ve got these habits, your telomere attrition looks like someone who glided through the year with no stressful events,” says Blackburn.
Relentless Stress is Aging You At Warp Speed? Reverse the Effects:
Sleep 7-8 Hours Every Night to Fight Aging
Get your beauty rest to increase your resiliency to stress.
Exercise to Fight Stress Aging YOU
Are you imagining hours of sweating to counterbalance the negative impacts of stress on your telomere length?
Just 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, three times a week was fou