While the surge of cortisol that characterizes stress does have its benefits – it is, after all, a natural part of our fight-or-flight response to danger – medical researchers have been more concerned about its negative effects in recent years. Whether it's because our smartphones keep us from completely leaving the stress of the office behind, or an ongoing result of the slowly recovering economy, it seems that more people feel a constant sense of pressure than ever.
Prolonged exposure to stress has been linked with a number of serious medical conditions, and may even accelerate the aging process in general. And, according to a recent study, the simple act of remembering a stressful occurrence can have a negative impact on aging longevity as well.
ScienceDaily reports that researchers from Ohio University recruited 34 women to complete a task that involved public speaking – a well-known stressor for most individuals. They then asked a portion of the group to reflect on their performance, while other participants were told to think about a non-related subject. The source states that, upon conducting blood tests on the women involved, the scientists discovered that those who were directed to recall the stressful event had higher levels of an inflammatory agent in their bloodstream.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the act of dwelling on a stress-inducing activity could spark of a physiological reaction – in this case, inflammation.
"More and more, chronic inflammation is being associated with various disorders and conditions," assistant professor and study lead author Peggy Zoccola noted.
So, if you've had a stressful day at work, make sure to take the necessary steps to leave that anxiety behind you. Engaging in aerobic exercise, taking a meditation course or even picking up an engrossing book can all help you take your mind off of past stressors so you can age gracefully.
For more anti-aging advice, contact the specialists at Longevity Centres of America.