De-stress to up your healthspan

Latest articles

Exclusive: “Mitlets” hold potential for mitochondria transfusion

Mitrix Bio believes recently discovered blood components may support transfusion of large quantities of healthy mitochondria from donor to patient. Earlier this year, we brought...

Optimise your body and mind by tackling cell stress

Want to live longer and heathier? Combating cell stress is an important first step on your longevity journey. It's a fast-paced, busy world, and we're...

Crypto – pulling a (Moon) Rabbit out a hat for longevity

Angel Versetti on why it makes sense to look at more experimental solutions for longevity. Earlier this week we brought you part one of our...

New webinar will explore the opportunity of ovarian longevity

What does delaying menopause mean in terms of investment activity, societal change and the technologies that will reshape the lives of multiple millions of...

Most read

New supplement slows aging and promotes weight loss

Sugar-proof your way to a longer life. Reducing AGEs to slow aging and increase weight loss – how one supplement is fighting the war...

An antiaging supplement that also reduces appetite?

One for the AGEs: Juvify signs IP licensing deal with Buck Institute for GLYLO antiaging supplement that aims to reduce glycation. A researcher at the...

Resveratrol – the small molecule with big antiaging ideas

When it comes to antiaging molecules, we can learn a thing or two from plants. As so often in natural world, plants have a few...

Editor's picks

Exclusive: “Mitlets” hold potential for mitochondria transfusion

Mitrix Bio believes recently discovered blood components may support transfusion of large quantities of healthy mitochondria from donor to patient. Earlier this year, we brought...

Optimise your body and mind by tackling cell stress

Want to live longer and heathier? Combating cell stress is an important first step on your longevity journey. It's a fast-paced, busy world, and we're...

Crypto – pulling a (Moon) Rabbit out a hat for longevity

Angel Versetti on why it makes sense to look at more experimental solutions for longevity. Earlier this week we brought you part one of our...

Click the globe for translations.

While a little stress can keep you motivated and spark creativity, too much can wear you down, affect your healthspan and can even make you ill. Who you gonna call? Stressbusters!

Stress is everywhere; from deadlines to pandemics, disagreements to missing keys, sometimes it can seem like stress is unavoidable. And while a little stress can be beneficial, acute stress, or chronic stress can impact your body in negative ways, overloading your body’s systems and taking a mental and physical toll. It’s time to de-stress!

What is stress?

Stress is built-in to the way our bodies work and helps us respond to any threat, real or imaginary, large or small. A feeling of emotional or physical tension, stress can originate from feeling frustrated, worried, angry, threatened or nervous.

This stress response – sometimes called “flight or fight” – is the body’s way of protecting you and preparing you to respond to danger. When trigged by stress, the body’s nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, which include adrenaline and cortisol; these prepare the body for emergency action by increasing heart rate, tensing muscles, rising blood pressure, quickening breathing rate and heightening senses. As well as increasing your strength and stamina, these reactions enhance your focus and quicken your reaction time, leaving you primed to face the danger.

Danger levels

While stress response is natural, overloads of stress hormones have been linked to several health problems, including heart disease, stomach issues, high blood pressure and weakened immune function, as well as anxiety, mental health issues and depression.

The older we get, the more stress hormones can affect us; too much cortisol over time can  damage the hippocampus, affecting memory storage and retrieval. A recent five-year study even highlighted that stress might increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A different survey demonstrated that the immune cells of highly-stressed women aged by an extra 10 years – if you weren’t stressed before, you will be now!

Friendship

Changing the way you think

Of course, it’s not always possible to change the events in your life that cause stress; instead, there are strategies that can be employed to change your response to it, and ensure that brain-calming endorphins are released. There are also day-to-day measures that can be taken to help you stay calm in an increasingly-stressful world. From focusing on something else, to taking a step back, or from ringfencing time to think about something to asking someone else to share the load, offloading stress is easier if you have go-to options ready to help you out.

If you feel the stress levels rise, try stepping away from the screen, switching your phone to silent, speaking to a friend, having a laugh, listening to music, looking out of the window for five minutes, or even just having a good stretch.

Take a deep breath

Breathing is an excellent technique for stress, anxiety and panic; taking in slow, deep breaths through the nose and gently exhaling can help control feelings of stress, leaving you feeling grounded and ready for what life throws at you next.

Keeping active – and getting rest

As well as being great for health and fitness, exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the ‘happy hormones’ that can lift your mood, calm anxiety and make you feel fab. Exercise also regulates the stress hormone cortisol, so regular activity is a win-win.

Sleep problems and mental health go hand-in-hand; worrying can delay sleep, but a proper night’s rest can leave you feeling refreshed and energised. Exercise and natural light can increase production of serotonin, which the body can convert into melatonin, a chemical which is key in the regulation of sleep.

Supplements

Supplement your mood

Magnesium is important for regulating metabolism, tiredness and fatigue, as well as ensuring a functioning nervous system. St John’s Wort is recommended to help alleviate anxiety and depression and may have a positive effect on stress. Melatonin and Rhodiola rosea have also been found to help stress, but as with all supplements, what works for one person, won’t work for another, so persistence, or indeed seeking the advice of an expert, could help find a de-stress regimen that works for you.

From A to Zen

Time and again, studies have shown that meditation is an effective stress-management tool; scientifically proven to help alleviate stress, meditation builds this mental resilience, helping the brain reset itself and put the stressors in perspective.

With numerous YouTube videos and online meditation lessons available, it’s easy to build meditation into your daily habits.

Image credits: Fuu J / Unsplash, Jonathan Borba / Unsplash,  Angel Sinigersky / Unsplash,  Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash,

 


 

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

Most popular

New supplement slows aging and promotes weight loss

Sugar-proof your way to a longer life. Reducing AGEs to slow aging and increase weight loss – how one supplement is fighting the war...

An antiaging supplement that also reduces appetite?

One for the AGEs: Juvify signs IP licensing deal with Buck Institute for GLYLO antiaging supplement that aims to reduce glycation. A researcher at the...

Resveratrol – the small molecule with big antiaging ideas

When it comes to antiaging molecules, we can learn a thing or two from plants. As so often in natural world, plants have a few...

Tree of Longevity – understanding how supplements work

Pathways? Hallmarks? Biomarkers? Understanding the longevity supplements lingo can help you make better choices for your healthspan. Longevity supplements differ from other 'generic supplements' as...

Related articles

What’s in your supplements – does it make a difference?

Why reading the label could lead to better healthspan choices. You’re hitting the gym or pounding the pavement at least five days a week. You’re...

Why you should know about bioavailability

Supplements are flooding the market, but taking them doesn't necessarily mean your body is flooded with the promised compounds. Find out what bioavailability is...

Understanding your metabolism could help your healthspan

Metabolism is pretty misunderstood, but finding out more about yours could pave the way to a better healthspan. "When I was younger I could eat...

Cracking the code on soy: is it good for your healthspan?

Soy is packed with protein and rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds, but it's come in for criticism. It's time to dig in...

How early should you be examining your fertility?

Fertility facts and four positive practices to try as soon as possible. Most young women don’t give much thought to their fertility until they’re ready...