Advertisement

Can stress make me age faster?

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
Aging spurts are the result of thousands of complex hormonal changes in the body. When the body is exposed to physical or emotional stress, the adrenal glands produce extra steroids such as cortisol. Stress leads to elevated levels of a chemical called interleukin-6. And this may injure deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Memory loss and diabetes are just two of the aging symptoms that may result.
Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

More About this Book

Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

The public’s recent exuberance toward cosmetic surgery has spurred an unprecedented demand for appearance-changing procedures. But how can an average consumer discern the hype from solid truth? ...
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Reduce stress. Having three or more major life events in a one-year period can create more than 30 years of aging. Having lots of friends, strong support networks, and strategies for coping with stress can minimize the effect.

Complete nagging unfinished tasks (NUTs). Recent data indicates the small nagging recurrent problems (such as the broken toilet seat that shifts when you sit on it) that seem small, but still bother us add up to affect each of us as if one major event. So deal with these NUTs as they occur to keep your RealAge (physiologic age) younger.

Have a back-up stress-reducing technique on hand. You can never have enough techniques to reduce or manage stress. If one of them fails you -- you've pulled a muscle and can't exercise -- you can do another, such as meditation. (Even an act as simple as scrunching up your face as tightly as you can for 15 seconds and then releasing it is a quick, effective stress-releaser we can all use.)
The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

More About this Book

The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

Why not live at 60 feeling like you did at 35?Thousands of Americans are younger today than they were five years ago. How is that possible? By following the specific recommendations that reverse...

Whether it’s dark circles, pallid patches, a giant pimple, or what looks like a whole new set of crow’s feet, it’s the final insult. That’s a classic sign of stress aging. It’s what happens when an overload of life adds years to your looks. It can age your face far more rapidly than the passage of time. Here’s the shocker: Stress can age you three to six years or more.

And it’s a familiar, vicious cycle: stress affects your beauty, and when you’re not happy with your appearance, you’re not happy in general and you can’t cope with stress so easily. Which then comes back to take a bite out of your beauty again and again.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Dr. Kathleen Hall
Preventive Medicine
There is a direct link between stress and accelerated aging. A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco, is proving that stress causes premature aging. Telomeres located at the ends of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are essential for the replication of DNA and the growth of cells. Under extreme stress, the telomeres are damaged and cell growth is inhibited. This study found that stress can accelerate aging 10 years. The good news is that this same study also found that this damage is reversible with self-care methods.
A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

More About this Book

A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

Nautilus Book Awards Winners for 2007 (category: Self-Help/Psychology/ Personal Growth) "Like many people, Kathleen Hall found that despite great success and material wealth, she had yet to identify...

Continue Learning about Stress

Positive-Thinking Exercises to Undo Stressful Thoughts
Positive-Thinking Exercises to Undo Stressful Thoughts
Sometimes the noise from inside our own heads is the biggest stressor of all. But here's the phrase that can turn things around for you: "My mind is c...
Read More
What are common reactions to stressful events?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Common reactions to a stressful event include: disbelief and shock tension and irritability fea...
More Answers
9-Step Plan to Control Your Anger
9-Step Plan to Control Your Anger9-Step Plan to Control Your Anger9-Step Plan to Control Your Anger9-Step Plan to Control Your Anger
Keep your cool with these helpful coping strategies.
Start Slideshow
The Karaoke Cure: Sing Away Stress and Boost Self-Esteem
The Karaoke Cure: Sing Away Stress and Boost Self-Esteem

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.