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When it comes to stress and how it relates to aging, many people are afraid that just a little bit of stress can cause them to develop signs of aging and health problems. In reality, that’s not quite the case.
As an adaptation from our prehistoric days, humans have developed means of physically handling stress, but that’s only meant for short term bursts. If you have ongoing stress, then your body will always be trying to catch up, which can then lead to faster aging.
Some parts of this natural defense might be things you already recognize as signs of stress. For one, your heart rate will go up. This is because your body assumes it’s about to have to either fight or run, so it gets you all amped up and prepared.
For this same reason, you might also notice that your muscles tense up and you might even start to get twitches in your eye or muscles. These natural defenses are great for short term stress.
It gets you prepared to take on a challenge, and you’re able to do what you need to do. However, your body needs rest after that to recognize that you’re no longer stressed out and don’t need those defenses anymore.
With long term stress, you never get to that point. When you’re stressed out over a prolonged period of time, your body will be in a constant state of trying to repair itself and help you out, which ends up doing more harm than good.
Some of the defensive measures that your body puts in place can, if they don’t stop, give you signs of aging and even afflict you with physical health problems. Take, for example, the increased heart rate.
While it’s beneficial for a short burst of energy, if you have a high heart rate for awhile, you’re bound to eventually suffer from some heart complications. In some cases, this can even end up being fatal.
Another example would be the tensed up muscles. While it’s great for the fight or flight response, constant tension in your body can lead to so many physical problems normally reserved for senior citizens.
Your face will start to develop wrinkles over time from always looking worried, and your body will experience soreness and cramps more often than before. You need to take time to relax and let your body take a break from always trying to recover.