What can cause chronic stress ? | Health Tips for Life
Chronic Stress Speeds Up Aging: Study
There may be some truth behind the notion that stress can turn your hair gray: People experiencing chronic or long-term stress, as well as recurring depression, can actually age faster, according to a new study.
Research in the upcoming issue of Biological Psychiatry shows that people who are severely stressed have shorter telomeres — the outermost part of the chromosome that gets shorter as we grow older. While short-term stress—such as the kind of heart-racing, sweaty palm anxiety you may experience before giving a big speech—has been linked to health benefits such as boosting immunity, long-term stress has been pegged as a culprit in everything from weight gain to heart attack to hair loss.
Study authors looked as telomere length as well as tested how participants regulated stress. “The test revealed that cortisol levels indicative of chronic stress stress are associated with shorter telomeres in both depressed and healthy individuals,” says Mikael Wikgren, a doctoral candidate in the research group, in a press release. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” that gets released in stressful situations to give you a surge of energy to react when you need to (such as moving fast if you’re about to be hit by a car). However, it becomes unhealthy (and may contribute to aging, according to the new study) when long-term stress signals the body to keep releasing cortisol and wears down your body.
The good news is that there are a number of simple lifestyle tricks that can help you slash your cortisol levels. For example, earlier research found that subjects who practiced Buddhist meditation significantly decreased both cortisol and blood pressure in a 6-week Thai study. Similarly, participants who meditated daily for 4 months decreased the hormone by an average of 20% in a study at Maharishi University, while levels in the nonmeditating control group actually went up slightly.
Video: What does chronic stress cause ? | Life Line
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