Can stress make me age faster?

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. 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

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

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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.