I have learned to read the papers calmly and not to hate the people I read about.
-Critic Edmond Wilson
From "Healthy Horizons," by Dr. Mark Prather:
Everyone knows that stress can cause you to grow old faster. However, it was not until recently that scientists identified a direct link between aging and stress.
There has always been evidence showing that psychological stress can result in increased physical deterioration and risk of disease.
However, a pioneer study has actually now revealed that this relationship stems from the fact that chronic stress speeds up the shriveling of the tips of the bundles of genes inside your cells. This shortens the life span of your cells and causes them to deteriorate.
The main culprit in this process is an elevated level of stress hormones such as cortisol, which wreak havoc on your body.
The virtually irreversible effects of aging cells are obvious: muscles weaken, skin wrinkles, eyesight and hearing fade, cognitive ability diminishes, and organs fail. Now think about the last time you were stressed out for more than just a couple days or hours…
Maybe it was a major project you undertook or change in responsibilities on your job. Maybe it was a family issue or challenge with your kids. Maybe financial responsibilities were pressing down on your mind…
Whatever your last bout of stress was over, it’s amazing to think that those stress feelings actually cause your body to start falling apart, literally!
While aging is a natural part of life and there is no way to truly reverse it, these scientific findings certainly underscore the importance of managing your stress life.
When you feel the pressure levels around you rising, it’s not just a mental thing.
Your body really is taking a beating and breaking down. It's all the more reason to... keep those stress levels down, especially when life’s circumstances heat up.