Stress and Aging - Human Growth Hormones
Modern life can be stressful. There are so many concerns that you have to worry about like work, family, relations, and other activities. Sometimes you have to juggle or walk on a tightrope of schedules, deadlines, meetings, and extracurricular activities.
Usually, when you are stressed, your heart speeds up and your head pounds. What actually happens is that your pituitary gland releases a certain hormone, which in turn triggers your adrenal glands to release stress hormones (i.e., cortisol and adrenaline) into your bloodstream. As a result, several of your body's systems are upset.
You may likely feel a stomachache coming or experience diarrhea when you're stressed out. You also tend to feel hunger pangs resulting to weight gain. Stress also makes you susceptible to sickness like colds and other infections in addition to skin problems, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and loss of sex drive.
Stress also likely speeds up aging. According to a study done by the doctors in University of California at San Francisco, chronically stressed women displayed chromosomal changes characteristic of increased aging. They found out that the telomeres (found at the ends of the chromosomes) of these women tend to be shorter than the less-stressed women. Telomeres shorten as we age; thereby the length of the telomeres is an indication of aging. When telomeres cannot be possibly any shorter, they die out which is evident in skin wrinkles, organ failure, etc.
That's why you need to lower the level of stress in your life. You can do that by taking care of your body and leading a healthy lifestyle. Have a balanced diet, adequate rest, and regular exercise. Relax and learn to enjoy your life. Take up a hobby that will help you take your mind off things like reading, knitting, collecting stamps, playing sports, or gardening. Join a club, support group or organization where you can meet other people with the same interests. Try joining the community play, take up dancing classes and acting workshops, help in local charities or fund raisers. Who knows you might even discover your hidden talents?
Learn deep-breathing exercises and practice meditation or Yoga. Visit the gym regularly or join a fitness group that will help you stay fit and healthy. Another option is to have massages and rub downs. This will help loosen up your muscles and calm your nerves.
At times, you just have to be positive about things and be less negative or pessimistic. Try to smile at people you meet on the streets, watch a movie or a play, have a new hairdo, change your wardrobe, and have the time to smell the roses.
Another good practice is having your regular medical check-ups to ensure your good health every time. Sometimes, when your level of stress is remarkably high, you need to get help. Seek out the support of friends and family, change jobs, re-prioritize your life, or consult with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker.
Life can really be full of challenges. Learn how to cope up and remember to always look at the bright side of life. If you feel that stress is getting the better of you, don't hesitate to seek help. A stress-free life can definitely add up to your years.
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