According to new research, chronic stress might be shortening your lifespan separate from your disease risk.
Chronic stress has previously been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental illness.
It doesn't stop there, according to new research, chronic stress might be shortening your lifespan separate from your disease risk.
Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, have discovered a link between constant anxiety and lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging and lifespan.
Klotho has been found to help strengthen arteries, protect against cognitive decline, and improve bone density, all things that can help people live well into old age.
It was previously thought that the hormone declined naturally as part of the aging process, but this research suggests that constant stress may actually cause it decline prematurely.
The study looked at women who were chronically stressed out from being caregivers to children with autism.
Compared with women who experience normal levels of worry and who also had normal levels of klotho, the caregivers' hormone levels were as low as someone decades older.
While this was just an observational study, the researchers believe persistent mental pressure may literally be aging women prematurely.
But before you stress out about stressing out, consider this the ultimate incentive to lower your stress levels.
The key, though, according to the study authors, is not just reducing daily pressures, but finding healthy ways to deal with the ones we still have.
There is no such thing as a stress-free life, but learning how to manage stress will not only help you live longer but actually enjoy those extra years even more.