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There are two kinds of stress, "good" stress and not so good stress. A certain amount of stress, physically certainly is necessary in training and some would say that mental stress has its place in modern day life in that it "keeps you sharp" or motivates you. These are of course lower and manageable levels of stress, not the levels of stress which can cause or contribute to illnesses and even, studies suggest, a shortening of your life span.

Everyone has a limit to what they can handle mentally before the cracks start to show (we are only human after all) and research out of UC San Francisco shows that the effects of stress could be more harmful that previously thought, particularly on a hormonal level. Women for example who suffer from higher levels of stress tend to suffer from a lack of klotho, a hormone that slows the aging process, maintains or even boosts the cognition processes and more. Anyone with a significantly lower than normal levelsof this hormone could, studies suggest, find that it contributes to premature aging, ongoing health concerns (depression, heart related diseases and more) and worryingly a shortened life. 

Take Action

While of course the research into the effects of stress on hormone levels and the effects continues there is no bad reason in the meantime to look at reducing the stress you are under, for your short term and long term health and well-being.

Look at your lifestyle, and start by making small changes. Chronic stress affects people in a number of different ways and largely the overwhelming advice is to make lifestyle changes to combat this. If you don't feel that is enough, you need help identifying or dealing with the source of your stress then do see your GP who would will be able to help or refer you to someone who can. 

Additionally there are ways to boost your klotho hormone levels. Research shows that exercise (any sort) will act as a natural klotho booster which offers yet another reason for you to increase your activity levels.

Take stress seriously, don't ignore it or assume it will "get better" or disappear without making changes or seeking help. Look at your physical and mental well-being as something that must be protected and nurtured and in return it will offer you a wealth of feel-good benefits.