How you can combat stress

Don't panic!

Don’t panic!

 

2016 is proving to be a very stressful year for many, and for pollsters in particular, as unexpected political outcomes continue to surprise both the winners and losers of political contests. After Brexit, the election of Donald Trump in the face of all media and pundit reports is the biggest surprise to date and it has clearly upset a great many people.

Modern life by its nature is full of stress, and while some clearly thrive on it, as with any stimulant it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all good. “The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long,” says Eldon Tyrell in Bladerunner, but as per a study from UC San Francisco, it seems just the everyday stresses of life can also accelerate cellular ageing. Stressful events, over which we may have no control, can accelerate immune cell ageing in adults, so the populations of both the UK and the USA may have aged a little more rapidly this year.

The good news is you can do something about it. Regular exercise, nutrition with as much real food as possible and sufficient undisturbed sleep are the basis of any good health regime. By adopting these habits during periods of stress not only can you reduce the negative effects, but enjoy the benefits as they help you feel better and more able to deal with any challenges as you work through times of trouble.

And I am talking simple steps. As a no brainer, simply avoid soda; drinking 20 ounces of soda daily has been linked with adding 4.6 years to your biological age, so by stopping you will be able to off-set significant premature cell aging. It might seem incredible that such a small change can make such a big difference over time, but it helps avoid your body being additionally and unnecessarily vulnerable to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

To combat the aging effect of stress:
  • don’t binge on sugar, soda or booze
  • exercise regularly
  • eat real food
  • get some sleep (a good night’s sleep can work wonders, as it is vital for melatonin, a powerful hormone and the only known antioxidant that can protect all parts of a cell).

When it comes to ageing, our bodies can decouple our chronological age from our biological age. Stress accelerates ageing, so if you prefer to grow into an 80-year-old with the physique and health of a 40 year – rather than a 40-year-old the body of an unfit 80-year-old, start to adopt ways to de-stress today.

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          About the author
Iris is the driving force behind No Targets and a dedicated campaigner for real foods. Having spent years reading research on food she believes what we eat is more important than the calories we consume or burn. “It's about calculating nutrition, not counting calories.”

Iris is the driving force behind No Targets and a dedicated campaigner for real foods. Having spent years reading research on food she believes what we eat is more important than the calories we consume or burn. “It’s about calculating nutrition, not counting calories.”

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