Chronic Stress affects:
– telomeres (Chromosome component in our DNA linked to aging; risk for heart disease, diabetes & cancer)(Protective casing at the end of a strand of DNA)
– each time a cell divides you lose some telomere
– telomerase replenishes but stress & cortisol reduces telomerase
– telomere shortening linked to chronological aging, genetics & chronic stress (largest effects experienced from chronic stress experienced earlier in life, which it is thought, is due to exaggerated stress reactivity & poor health behaviours
– but stress across life span has an impact
– anxiety & depression can led to hypervigilance & chronic stress arousal
– prenatal anxiety has also been shown to impact upon telomere length & aging
– neuroplastic changes as a result of stress, impacting upon eating patterns, interferes with PFC executive function & our ability to manage impulses (comfort food & concomitant abdominal fat)
– exercise is the largest antidote to biological stress Dysregulation (excessive cortisol, insulin, inflammation & oxidative stress that make up “stress soup”) followed closely by diet & sufficient sleep.
– a strong social network is probably the biggest buffer to toxic stress, beginning with family – note: if you are over-working, you are most likely under-caring for your social network & yourself
– author of paper states: “Ultimately it is our thoughts that make chronic stress seem so. Viewed mindfully, so no situation is truly chronic. There are always calm moments which you must notice &’be present for – Moments which can be lived in with ease.

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