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Marie Antoinette hair turned white from stressAging and Stress

Is there a relationship between aging
and stress?

You bet there is. We;ve all heard stories of people literally aging overnight. Marie Antoinette hair is reputed to have turned white overnight upon her capture by French Revolutionaries. Mary Lincoln went into a lifelong depression after losing her son to illness. But there is hope to offset all the forms of stress that can slow down the aging process as well.

Studies of centenarians, people who lived to be a hundred years old or more, have shown their long-life is directly proportional to their ability to let go of traumatic incidents in their lives.

If you have lived to be a hundred there is a good chance that you may have outlived your spouse and one or more of your own children. How you deal with loss and whether you are able to let go of past hurts, traumas, and worries seems to determine how long you will live.


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One of the most stressful jobs in the world is that of U.S. President. For a moment just think about the chronic and inescapable levels of stress that job entails. There are the endless meetings and agendas that your entire staff sets up for you. There are all the responsibilities of your office that include keeping top secret information to yourself, perhaps to your death, and as commander in chief deciding what to do with it. There is also over arching responsibility of holding the fate of a planet-wide nuclear annihilation literally in the palm of your hands.

So why do some presidents age tremendously after 1 or 2 terms and others like Reagan and Eisenhower seem filely unscathed? It has to do with their temperament and their approach to stress. Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied invasion of Normandy. With the responsibility of directly supervising the invasion of Nazi occupied Europe, Ike demonstrated an amazing ability to stay calm, focused without becoming reactive like some of the other generals under him. When he was elected president in 1952 Eisenhower simply went form Allied Supreme Commander to Commander-in-Chief.

Ronald Reagan lived inside the security of his own beliefs. He felt so safe and assured inside his own unquestioning ideology that this faith could support him through very great challenges in his administration. Unlike Jimmy Carter, Bush 41 and Bush 43, Reagan enjoyed his presidency. It was his natural buoyancy that probably allowed him to survive an assassin's bullet.

Did you ever know someone under so much stress they aged right before your eyes?

It seems to happen to presidents after a term or two, and maybe you've noticed something similar in your own mirror. Now, for the first time, a medical study has proven what we've all suspected: Stress speeds up aging. CBS News Correspondent Scott Pelley reports it does this by reaching all the way down into your cells and damaging your DNA. In a sense, chaos is crunching your chromosomes.


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Anti-Aging Secrets:

Now let's look at some ways of treating and preventing stress both psychologically and physically. Here are some things you can do for your body to keep stress from aging it:

  • Drink a gallon of water per day. A gallon of water is 128 ounces. That is twelve 10 ounce glasses a day. That sounds like a lot, but the cleansing and detoxifying power of hydration helps keep your free of harmful waste products. If you flavor the water with healthy teas (not stimulant) and natural fruit juices or herbs, you will find that hydrating will become a innate, and normal part of your life. If you are urinating less than once per hour you are not drinking enough liquids. Obviously coffee and sodas should be lessened or eliminated.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Sounds simple doesn't it? There are 2 parts to getting adequate rest every day. First, find a healthy sleep pattern and then stay with that established pattern. Some folks fall asleep and stay asleep easily. Others have developed sleep disorders which prevent them from falling asleep quickly and, even more disquieting, waking up repeatedly during the night. Stress plays a big factor in insomnia. There are many tricks to getting a good night's rest from breathing exercises and visualization to reading yourself to sleep with a warm cup of chamomile tea. Find out what works for you and stay with it.

  • stress anti-agingGet some kind of aerobic exercise every day. Like drinking plenty of water, exercise helps the body eliminate toxins through perspiration and accelerated breath and heart rate. With all the inexpensive exercise equipment available today and the interest of employers and their insurance companies in preventative medicine; we all live in an ideal climate that supports daily exercise. Don't like the gym or just plain walking? Then how about tennis, basketball, of golf?

  • Meditate, do yoga, or walk in nature regularly. All of these calm the mind and encourage deep breathing, which oxygenates the cells and blood. Studies show that long-time meditators age more slowly, both physiologically and in the appearance of memory retention, motor skills, bone density, immune health, wrinkles, graying hair, sags and such.

  • Take responsibility for your stress. This means avoiding stressful situations if you can. Avoid unnecessary conflict, especially the chronic kind one finds in dysfunctional families. That kind of chronic intermittent family stress will literally wear you down and send you into an early grave. Learn how to cooperate rather than confront.

    • Clean up your diet. If the slow metabolization of toxins speeds aging, then it makes sense to not put toxic foods in your body in the first place. Fresh vegetables, meats, fruits, and carbohydrates are the key to preventing toxins from accumulating in your body in the first place. Make your diet an adventure in freshness. The vitality of made from scratch meals with fresh produce brings are bodies back into alignment for the thousand of years of an agrarian hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Your body is genetically predisposed toward this diet why not support it?

    • Wear sunscreen! Are those new wrinkles scaring you? Do you look old when you stare at yourself in the mirror? Remember that it very difficult to make wrinkles go away once you have them but there is one very simple practice to keep your skin fresh and younger much, much longer. Wear sunscreen, even if it's a cloudy day, even if you are just walking from your car in the parking lot to go into the grocery store. In fact, the only time you should be outside without sunscreen is when it's dark and here's why:

      Thee same complex radiation from the sun that causes plants to thrive in sunlight also alters and mutates the skin cells on your body especially those of the face. Sunlight ages the skin because of the gamma and other invisible ultraviolet radiation that is not an issue with other primates and mammals who are covered in fur. Ask any bald man and he will talk to you about the need for sunscreen on the top of his head because there is no hair to protect the skin from the electromagnetic radiation of the Sun.

    • Laugh and smile frequently. We all know the stores of doctors getting patients to recover more quickly from laughing a lot in their hospital rooms. Making a practice of finding the joy in life will cause you to live longer and have abetter quality of life in those golden years. This practice can be as simple as telling a joke to friend and laughing with them. Smiling at the checker in the grocery store or waving to a little kid in a stroller. Laughing and playing with your pet also counts.

    • Take antioxidants every day. Best supplements for reversing the effects of aging:
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • DMAE
    • Coenzyme Q10
    • Cysteine
    • SOD (superoxide dismutase
    • Glutathione Peroxidase
    • Catalase
    • Manganese, zinc, copper, selenium
    • Vitamin C (ester)
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin B2
    • Vitamin B12 (injections if possible; your health care practitioner can administer these once or twice a month)

    These are just a few of the simple direct things you can do to make inroads into the stress that may be unnecessarily and prematurely aging your body. Above all remember, enjoy life whenever you can because each day you have just a little bit less of it.

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