It is easy to become over-stressed. Relationships, money, even the weather can cause us anxiety. Unfortunately, prolonged stress can be very damaging to our health.
When we are in that “fight or flight” response, hormones are released to make us more alert and ready for danger. But that response was only designed for short bursts, not the prolonged stress that we feel in our daily lives. Extended exposure to these hormones degrades the cells of our body, particularly in our heart and vascular system.
Scientists recently researched the relationship of the stress hormone cortisol and health problems in seniors. It showed that seniors with increased levels of cortisol were at a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as stroke, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. So, chronic stress will age your body beyond your years, setting you up for future health problems.
So, what can we do? It’s easy to say that you will just stress less, but much harder to do. It is proven that yoga can lower your stress levels significantly, but many people may not have the flexibility or coordination to do this activity. Daily meditation may work just as well. Taking five minutes out of your day to close your eyes, breathe deeply, listen to some calming music, and clear your mind of your worries may be all you need to have a less stressful day and better vascular health.
Source: New Haven Register