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Emotional stress

Emotional Stress Linked to Premature Aging

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 by: Sheryl Walters
Tags: emotional stress, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Stress is everywhere. Simply living in the modern world is incredibly stressful. We generally work hard and there is so much pressure to keep going until exhaustion. A significant amount of people are also under incredible emotional stress.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that emotional stress is perhaps the single greatest aging factor. We have all seen how quickly presidents age after four years (of fighting unnecessary wars, for example). This is because stress damages the body in many different ways.

One direct link between psychological stress and premature aging has recently been identified by scientists.

The study involved 39 women, aged 20- to 50 years, who had been experiencing extreme stress for years as a result of caring for a child with a chronic illness, and 19 other similar women whose children were healthy.

The researchers examined structures inside cells called telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the ends of chromosomes that carry genes. Every time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. In the natural aging process, the telomeres eventually get so short that the cell can no longer divide and dies.

As more and more cells die, the effects of aging can be noticed. These include skin wrinkles, weakened muscles, fading eyesight and hearing, organ failure, and diminished thinking abilities.

The researchers also measured levels of an enzyme called telomerase, which helps rebuild telomeres to stave off this process. Telomerase levels naturally decline with age.

The scientists discovered that chronic stress appears to accelerate this process. The longer a woman had been caring for a sick child and perceived her situation as stressful, the shorter her telomeres and the lower her levels of telomerase.

There are many studies that reveal that younger telomeres are linked with exercise. This makes sense since exercise is one of the best ways to relax and de-stress.

This study shows how interlinked our minds and bodies really are, and offers scientific proof that emotional stress is highly aging. It further reveals how important stress relievers such as meditation and practicing yoga are for staying young.

About the author

Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.

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