You may think December is an unusual time to broach the subject of premature aging and stress, but it makes perfect sense when you consider the often frenzied pace of the holidays. Fortunately, stress is one aspect of physical/mental deterioration that we can actually do something about. Really, why age more rapidly than you have to?
Premature aging can be described as “irreversible changes in our body’s structure and function over time, occurring at an accelerated rate.” So, back to the stress connection. Were you aware that undue emotional strain increases your risk for countless diseases, inflammation, weight gain, and─as a result─premature aging?
For example, when you’re in overwhelm, your body redirects blood flow to internal organs, but in doing so, robs your skin of essential blood and oxygen, with increased free radical production and impaired antioxidant activity. This is a big reason why supplementing antioxidants is so important─even if you think your diet is relatively healthy.
Another issue for many people is stress-related indigestion, which can greatly impair your ability to properly assimilate food and nutrients. The vast majority of us would benefit from high-quality digestive enzymes─especially in busy times.
Stress also stimulates the release of steroid hormones like cortisol into the bloodstream. While cortisol has important functions, excessively high levels may raise blood sugar, stimulate carb/sugar cravings, promote inflammation, increase fat accumulation in the liver, and slow metabolism.
It’s often hard to believe that normal human life expectancy is estimated to be 120 years─were it not for the diseases of premature aging, that is. Clearly, we can’t insulate ourselves from stress completely, but we can change the way we respond to it with tactics such as exercise, yoga/meditation, support from loved ones, and extra B-vitamins, as these crucial nutrients are rapidly depleted in hectic times.
For the sake of your health, getting a handle on stress in your daily life will serve you well─now, and for many decades to come.