Chronic Stress and the Length of Your Telomeres
Weird question for you …
When was the last time you got together with friends or family and had some fun?!
I wanted to ask because there’s important research I was reading about that shows that social time can help you live longer.
First, a little background. You know stress isn’t good for you, right? That includes feeling lonely and disconnected.
Well, research shows that chronic stress impacts you right down to the cellular level, making you more susceptible to dangerous chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
That’s because stress seems to contribute to shortening the “caps” on the ends of your DNA (called telomeres), which play a major role in the aging process.
Longer telomeres = longevity!
Scientists say you can start protecting your telomeres right now by living a healthy lifestyle by focusing on eating plant-based foods and exercising regularly.
But that’s not why I am sending this email.
Here’s the cool part ...
Your social connections also play a major role! Especially positive relationships that help you feel supported. They are also associated with longer telomeres!
Is it time to get together for a game night with your besties?
If this is an area you struggle with because you don’t have any nearby social connections, here are some ideas:
- Join a walking group or book club in your community
- Find a fitness studio/group that caters to people like you (same age, interests, etc.), and build a new network based on shared goals
- Take a class (in person if at all possible) to learn a new hobby or skill that you’ve been wanting to try.
On top of being a great stress-busting outlet for you, it might also help improve your long-term health!