Everyone is stressed nowadays. In fact, as a society, we’ve started glamorizing stress. Think that’s weird? Well, if someone was telling you that they had to somehow figure out how to run to 5 different stores, get their kids to three different sports (all on different ends of town), go to their own high-intensity spin class, and still work full time – what would you think? Odds are, most people think “Wow, they really have their life together! I am so not measuring up.” But, if you really stop and think about how that must feel, they probably feel like a frayed rope trying to hold up an elephant.
These levels of stress are severely unhealthy, and we’re doing them to ourselves. Society has put such a premium on “busier is better” that we don’t take time to relax or unwind.
High levels of stress have been scientifically proven to shorten our telomeres. Telomeres are essentially caps on the ends of our chromosomes that are responsible for protecting our DNA. While they naturally shrink as we age, long-term stress accelerates this shortening process. When the telomeres are no longer there, our chromosomes begin to get damaged, which causes aging and decreased cellular health. Yikes!
(In summary: Being excessively stressed ages you prematurely and causes cell damage.)