The Ageing Impact of Stress – Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket
In my last article, I wrote all about the stress response and the negative impact of stress on your mood, mindset, thoughts and feelings.
Stress can easily start to negatively effect your thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours in ways that make you feel worse and worse. You may feel anxious, depressed, overwhelmed and on edge. You can struggle to think clearly, make decisions and plan things. You may feel like you have no control over your life, or conversely, you may start to try and control every small detail. You struggle to relax and switch off. And there can be impacts upon your motivation, enthusiasm and general energy levels. Your sleep is disrupted, your eating and drinking habits can change and, all in all, you feel burnt out, lost and exhausted. If your stress has been going on along time then it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Stress clouds your mood and mindset, you feel like you are carrying a weight on your shoulders and you struggle to take a grip of your own thoughts and feelings. As I mentioned in that article, hypnotherapy can help you to start feeling calmer and to take back control over your thoughts and feelings. You can feel more enthusiastic, stronger and more self assured to tackle the challenges and problems that come your way. You develop the personal resources that will help you to deal with the demands placed upon you.
However, the impact of stress goes beyond the negative thoughts and feelings you experience. Recent research has also investigated the impact upon your biological age in response to stress.
You can find my previous article about stress here: The Stress Response
Biological Age is Increased by Stress
Ageing is usually considered to be an ongoing pathway of time where there are adverse impacts such as loss of function and an increase in mortality. Time passes and our bodies suffer wear and tear and damage of a variety of sorts as we age.
Yet, there is some evidence for the possibility of a degree of age reversal and for biological age (rather than chronological age) to be more fluid and changeable than we might think Your biological age is not necessarily fixed by a link to your chronological age. You can be biologically older or younger than implied by your chronological age. Factors such as disease, drug treatment, lifestyle changes and environmental exposures can influence your biological age.
Research data has now shown that your biological age undergoes a rapid increase in response to diverse forms of stress, that is, that the impact of stress can age you biologically (so potentially making you more vulnerable to illness and disease etc). However, the good news is that this ageing can be reversed following your recovery from stress (Poganik et al, 2023).
Alongside all of the other psychological, physical and behavioural impacts of stress, exposure to stress can increase your biological age. When that stress dissipates, this ageing process can be fully or partially restored.
It’s very possible that this is a common impact in response to many different types of stress. What seems to be less clear right now, however, is what happens if your stress is chronic rather than acute. If you are stuck in an ongoing, long lasting, cycle of stress, these results suggest that your biological ageing may continue to increase and that may impact upon your health, well-being and longevity.
This makes it even more important to learn how to ease and recover from the stress that afflicts you. Certainly it is very possible, through hypnotherapy and other psychological approaches, to calm down and take control over your thoughts and feelings. You can interrupt that flow of psychological stress and find more and more relief from it. And as you recover from stress, there will be many positive impacts on how you feel and the thoughts that dominate your mind. You can then start to manage whatever you are experiencing now as well as maintaining that into the future.
To your health and happiness,
Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
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Reference: Poganik, J.R., Zhang, B., Baht, G.S., Tyshkovskiy, A., Deik, A., Kerepesi, C., Yim, S.H., Lu, A.T., Haghani, A., Gong, T. and Hedman, A.M., 2023. Biological age is increased by stress and restored upon recovery. Cell Metabolism, 35(5), pp.807-820.