Preventing Wrinkles and Disease by Fighting Depression
We’ve previously seen how aging may cause a decrease in some of the neurotransmitters that make us feel good, which can result in poor mood and decreased cognitive performance. We’ve also seen how this may be minimized by following a proper nutritional regimen as well as continuing to study and try new things.
Hormones, as we’ll see, play a significant part in this.
However, there are other variables at play as well. For example, there are lifestyle variables that may cause many older people to feel alone and lonely, which is compounded by pain, loss of movement, and a lack of a sense of purpose. Regrettably, this sets in motion a “vicious cycle.” When we lose our sense of purpose and meaning, we become less driven and happier.
As a result, there is even greater apathy, poor energy, and a bad attitude. What you may not realize is how important stress and sadness can be in the aging process. Stress has a negative impact on your body and may be detrimental to your mood, self-esteem, and, yes, your skin. That’s when you lose your sense of purpose, stop being challenged, and your social structure crumbles.
So, how do you go about it? Is it possible to work well beyond old age? A better option is to find something to do instead, something that will provide you with the same structure and confidence but without the stress. In fact, you may want to seek for something with more diversity and difficulty. Some will volunteer, and others will get involved in their communities.
Some individuals could write a book, tour the globe, or establish their own side company without having to worry about their finances. To put it another way, keep yourself busy, keep trying new things, and put yourself out there. You may not feel like it at times, particularly if your energy levels are beginning to dip, but it’s when you give it that everything falls apart around you.
How Stress Affects Your Age
A moderate form of the ‘fight or flight’ reaction causes stress. This is the reaction that our bodies would have utilized to prepare us for action in the wild. Dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and cortisol are only a few of the hormones and neurotransmitters that cause this. As a result, our parasympathetic nervous system prepares us for combat by focusing our minds and causing physiological changes in our bodies, such as:
Heart rate has increased.
Blood viscosity has increased (so that our blood would clot in response to an injury)
Contractions of the muscles
Immune system dysfunction
The immune system and digestion are inhibited in order to send more blood and nutrients to the brain and muscles. This is akin to Captain Kirk diverting all power to the engines, even if it means avoiding the medical facility! The situation in which this was intended to be utilized would always be brief and acute – a burst of adrenaline that would enable us to flee a predator or a forest fire.
Stressors nowadays, on the other hand, tend to persist considerably longer and may take the shape of work-place pressure, debt, marital issues, and so on. The body takes a pounding when you are under constant stress for extended periods of time: blood pressure rises (because to thicker blood and a faster heart rate), we don’t absorb all of the nutrients in our meals (thanks to inhibited digestion), and we become much more susceptible to disease.
Continuous chronic stress, such not receiving adequate nutrients in one’s diet, may cause cumulative damage that becomes severe over time. This increases oxidative damage to the cells and may even cause you to become grey! Simply frowning more may be one of the quickest ways to add wrinkles to the top of your head, exactly where they don’t look so good!
Stress may even cause you to grind your teeth, increasing your chances of losing them in the future. Stress may also create psychological harm, which can lead to more severe consequences over time. Do you need proof? Take a look at any president or prime minister, and you’ll see that they started to appear grey soon after they were elected!
Now it’s time to go a bit more scientific and look at some of the real-world consequences of stress.
Introduce yourself to telomeres.
A telomere is a stretch of ‘empty’ DNA located at the end of your genes that the body does not need. This is often compared to the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces that prevent the laces from fraying. What happens is that every time your cells split and multiply through mitosis, a little amount of information is lost from the ends of the DNA.
Telomeres serve as a buffer since they are not required. They are the first to disappear, and it makes no difference since they carry no information. However, after a time, your telomeres will ‘run out,’ and your real DNA will begin to deteriorate.
What’s more, guess what? According to studies, the shorter your telomeres are, the more stressed you are. This is especially true for those who are depressed. You will age quicker if you are under a lot of stress at work. In an old-home, people’s you’ll be anxious if you’re lonely, isolated, and frustrated. What’s the good news? You may really restore and rejuvenate your telomeres to some degree as you get less stressed.