Is Stress Making Me Age Quicker?
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Finding the fountain of youth isn’t always a matter of what secret routine you can obtain. Sometimes it is defined by things you should avoid. Some of these avoidances are relatively common knowledge, like not smoking or eating a healthy diet; however, others are not as well-discussed, such as stress.
Chronic stress can lead to DNA damage that causes us to age faster, developing a haggard appearance.
Fortunately, there are some healthy habits that can counteract stress and powerful non-surgical treatments that can support youth, beauty, and overall mental wellness.
Does Chronic Stress Make Skin Cells Age Faster?
New research suggests that untreated stress can speed-up the aging process by shortening each DNA strand’s length. This can also occur with depression, social isolation, and anxiety attacks—all of which have become more prevalent in the recent year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your DNA “age” can be understood by the telomere length and telomerase levels. Telomeres shorten each time your cells divide, and it is up to telomerase to correct this loss. Unfortunately, chronic stress decreases telomerase levels, which end up speeding the aging process.
Researchers even discovered that people with psychiatric disorders related to dysregulated emotional responses, such as depression, consistently had shorter telomeres than controls who have never experienced these disorders.
This provides groundbreaking evidence that chronic stress reduces telomerase, thus having a fundal impact on cellular aging and our appearance.
How Does Cellular Aging Affect My Appearance?
When cells age and break down, they reduce the quality of your skin’s texture, tone, strength, and vibrancy. Aging cells can also lead to lower production of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are vital elements in our body responsible for skin elasticity, strength, and thickness. Therefore, lower levels can create the appearance of loose and sagging skin.
Other ways aged skin cells can change your appearance include:
- Less radiant skin (lower skin cell turnover)
- Rough, dry, and cracked skin (improper skin barrier function and hydration)
- More visible veins (thinning skin and excessive vascularization)
- Easily scarred or bruised skin (weaker cell structure)
How Can I Relieve Stress to Slow Down Aging?
Frequent exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are the primary habits that can relieve stress and mitigate stress-related aging.
- Exercise releases endorphins, which are “feel good” chemicals, throughout the body that will lift your spirits and keep you stress-free.
- Nutrient-rich meals and lean proteins are known to boost overall mood.
- Seven to eight hours of sleep each night can help reduce stress and allow you to be well-rested.
Other methods for stress relief include:
- Listening to soothing music (lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety)
- Meditation and yoga (improves breathing, heart rate, and brain activity)
- Socializing with friends and family (decreases depression and anxiety)
- Outdoors excursions (increases dopamine and endorphins to boost mood)
How Can I Reverse My Aging Appearance?
Some men and women still experience changes in their appearance from stress, no matter how much they try to relieve tension from their lives. Thankfully, patients can reverse their aged appearance with proper skin care maintenance. Skin care products like glo™ therapeutics offer patients soothing and therapeutic solutions for multiple skin concerns.
Other forms of non-surgical skin rejuvenation include:
- Micro needling and serums (improves skin tone, texture, coloration, and clarity)
- Skin resurfacing (reduces fine lines, blemishes, and scars)
- Chemical peels (restores a healthy skin surface)
- Injectables (corrects volume loss or block movements that create wrinkles)