In this day and age, we all experience stress and anxiety in one form or another on a daily basis. Historically, stress was good -- it helped our ancestors escape from danger or gave them the strength and power to fight off predators. Changes occurred in their bodies that gave them the ability to focus on what needed to be accomplished and the strength to do it. Those same hormones work in our bodies today to help us during stressful times. The big difference between the stress and anxiety our ancestors experienced back then and what we experience now is the fact that their stress was fleeting. The stress and anxiety we experience today is constant and ongoing which puts our system into overdrive leading to a host of life-aging health problems such as heart attacks, cancer and accidents.

So how does constant stress and anxiety take its aging toll on our bodies? In response to stress and anxiety, a series of chemicals are produced in our brain that travel through our blood system and affect every system in our bodies. These chemicals interact with stress hormones which trigger signals in our bodies to respond to the stress and then our bodies return to normal. But that is only if the stress and anxiety is over as well. If the stress hormones are allowed to continue traveling through your body unregulated, the following happens:

--Your body is unable to turn off the stress response and that can lead to more anxiety and depression which can cause low sex drive and high blood pressure -- both of which are associated with aging.

--You may experience other potentially fatal health problems such as elevated LDL (lousy cholesterol) or triglycerides and reduced HDL (healthy cholesterol) and a surge in stress-related chemicals that cause you to eat and eventually lead to conditions such as diabetes and obesity (major body agers).

--Stress and anxiety decrease your ability to fight infection, suppresses your immune system and makes you more susceptible to disease.

--Prolonged stress and anxiety hinder the release of growth hormones that your body needs to help combat aging-related diseases and conditions.

Stress and anxiety have a cascading effect on our health. They increase the risk of arterial aging, damage our immune systemand make us prime candidates for life-ending accidents, as well as affect our mental health.

So don't take stress and anxiety lightly, they are major biological drivers of aging. Learn to manage the stress and anxiety in your life today. The faster you do it, the "younger" you'll be.

Author's Bio: 

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