April 1, 2011

In the News April 1st: Stress

How to Shorten Your Life

We all think our lives are stressful, deadlines at work, bills, household chores and active children. Some of us even think we need stress to be fulfilled. We’re not quite happy unless we are stressed to the max. Stress can shorten our lives and have other negative effects when it comes to our long term health, more devastating than even smoking and obesity.

Effects of Stress

Recently a comparison of smoking, obesity and a stressful lifestyle was done and the results may surprise you. Both smoking and obesity had a negative effect on longevity but stress was every bit as bad if not worse. Surprising as that may seem it makes sense that stress would have a negative impact on ones life span. People who are overly stressed  rarely exercise or take care of themselves in regard to nutrition.  Associated with stress are excretion of stress hormones (cortisol, dopamine and epinephrine).  Being chronically stressed shortens our telomeres (see post below) accelerating the aging process. Stress is assoicated with hypertension and with cardiovascular disease. It greatly affects our mood and hampers our thinking and memory and is linked to depression.

Treatment for Stress

Relax. Take some time for yourself, go for a walk, a run, a bike ride just go. Learn deep breathing techniques that can calm you and lower your heart rate and blood pressure while feeding your body with needed oxygen.

Remove yourself from the situation for awhile. Two things will happen; 1) it will be there when you get back, and 2) you’ll be more effective handling the situation. Laugh, enjoy, life is not a dress rehearsal. Put situations into perspective. Remember today when someone pranks you with their April fool joke, smile or even laugh. It  won’t kill you, heck, you might even live another year longer.

See related articles.

“Live Longer: Avoid Diabetes”

“Telomeres: A Key to Longevity”

Preserving Brain Function”

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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