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Distress the Culprit
Photo:Gino Santa Maria
Stress can make you older than you actually are. A recent study of women who experienced prolonged stress revealed changes in chromosomes within their cells that added the equivalent of 10 years or more to their biological age.

Dr. Robert Trestman, M.D., Ph.D., vice chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center says, “This research reinforces a lot of what we’ve believed for years—that stressors may be the same, but stress management makes the difference. It’s distress, not stress, that negatively impacts health. Reducing feelings of distress [the reaction to stress] is critical to staying healthy.”

What can you do to reduce your stress?
  • Accept the things you can’t control.
  • Ask for support from your family, friends, and God.
  • Care for yourself by keeping your weight down, eating healthfully, and exercising.
  • Relax through deep breathing or meditation.
  • Remove yourself from stressful situations as often as you can.
  • Speak with your doctor or a mental-health professional if your anxiety doesn’t improve.
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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, March/April 2008. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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