Emotions influence our body and our health

It is now clearly established that emotional imbalances influence the functioning of the body and can thus promote the development of several diseases. This close connection between body and mind is well illustrated by a recent study which shows that excessive anxiety changes our chromosomes and thus causes premature aging.

The brain is an organ that works in close synergy with other organs. In practice, our way of thinking and our emotions are strongly influenced by events that take place in the rest of the body (an injury or an illness), just as an imbalance in our mental processes can also favor the development of certain pathologies. Anxiety is a particularly telling example of the close connection between the brain and the functioning of the body in general. Under normal conditions, anxiety allows us to anticipate negative events that may occur in the future and to prepare ourselves adequately to deal with them (studying before an important exam to avoid failure, for example). On the other hand, a person who is too anxious can become paralyzed in the face of a difficult situation and be unable to solve the problem he is facing.

Although this anxiety is first and foremost an emotional state, it can then express itself in the form of unpleasant physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, tremors, dizziness, and even, in the most severe cases, in the form of panic attacks. What goes on in our head can really influence the rest of the body! `

Anxiety creates a pro-inflammatory environment in the body

In addition to being associated with a host of physical problems, studies have shown that excessive anxiety can also contribute to the creation of a climate of chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress in the body. These conditions increase the risk of certain chronic diseases. Research in recent years has revealed a multitude of mechanisms by which this action is exerted. Telomeres are structures present at the ends of chromosomes that prevent too rapid loss of our genetic material and thus prevent premature aging of our cells. Could excessive anxiety accelerate aging by

Anxiety makes you age faster

Adequate management of anxiety is very important to reduce its impact on aging interfering with this protective function of telomeres.

American researchers have examined the relationship between telomere integrity and the presence of phobias, an excessive anxiety disorder. They took blood samples from 5,243 female participants aged 42 to 69 (average age 59) and examined the length of telomeres present in white blood cells. At the same time, the level of anxiety of each of the participants was assessed based on their responses to a specialized questionnaire. The results are unequivocal: people who have several symptoms of excessive anxiety have significantly shorter telomeres than those who do not, regardless of other lifestyle factors (smoking, body weight, type of diet ). According to the available data, this decrease in telomere length corresponds to a premature aging of 6 years!

Anxiety very often begins at a young age and can persist chronically for most of life. In light of the results of this study, the proper management of anxiety is very important, to reduce its impact on aging and the premature development of several age-related diseases.


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Okereke OI et al. High phobic anxiety is related to lower leukocyte telomere length in women. PLoS One. 7:e40516.


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