Eliminating Stress from Your Life Benefits Your Memory
Some stress in life can be a good thing as it makes us more resilient and able to cope with things that life throws at us. However, when the stress becomes acute, we risk damaging the cells in both our body and brain. Scientists believe that stress dramatically affects the telomeres found at the ends of our chromosomes. Telomeres are an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age and consist of the same DNA sequence repeated.
Telomere originates from the Greek (tel-uh-meer) telos (end) and meros (part).
Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged, and our cells can’t do their job.
Retrieved from https://www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere.html
Each time a cell divides and replicates, the telomere shortens. Since cell division happens throughout life, telomeres get shorter and shorter as we age. When the telomeres run out, the cell becomes inactive or dies, which leads to disease. Researchers believe that both physical and psychological stress can damage cells, thus requiring division and speeding up the shortening of telomeres. Managing the stress in our lives can lead to a longer lifespan of our cells, and in the case of brain cells, it can help maintain our memory.
Learning how to manage stress can be quite challenging in today’s world, especially when bombarded with negative information, which can hover over us like a dark cloud, going everywhere that we do. Nevertheless, if we want to live longer and do it with a sound mind, managing stress I essential.
Here are some ways that may help you to reduce stress in your life:
Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones — such as cortisol — in the
long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve
your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Reduce your caffeine intake
Some people can handle more caffeine than others. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, cut back on it.
Lighting candles or using essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood, rose, orange blossom, and geranium can help to ease stress.
Laughing reduces stress, watch a funny movie, look for the fun and silly side of life. Children laugh all the time, on average, 400 times a day; by the time we are an adult it has been reduced to 15-20 times a day. Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is wasted.”
- Take control
There’s a solution to any problem. If you remain passive, thinking, I can’t do anything about my situation, your stress will worsen.
- Connect with Friends and Family
That old saying, “A trouble shared is a trouble halved,” is very accurate. Also, we tend to relax and laugh with friends and family, which are great stress reducers.
- Learn to say no
Are you are one of those people who take on too much because you always say yes? Practice saying no! Remember, how much is your yes worth if you never say no.
- Listen to soothing music
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American, and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too.
- Take some me-time
Don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list; schedule some time for yourself, just like you do with other things. In the words of The Grinch from the movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “6:30 dinner with me,” I can’t cancel again.
- Attempt to be positive
Don’t focus on the negatives in your life; start looking at the positives and the things you are for which you are grateful. Write them down and look back at them often.
Cathy Parkinson, CQSW, Dipcoun.Leave a reply