Study shows why relaxing is the best way to live longer

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3 Brain-Saving Habits , to Help You Stay Sharp , as You Get Older.According to an article in 'TIME,' emerging research suggests that certain habits may keep the mind sharp during the aging process. .1. Socializing, Focus on building social circles that satisfy your individual needs.This can be spending more time with neighbors.or volunteering at a community center.2. Relaxing, Take time to do things that relieve stress.Studies show that meditation, listening to music and getting enough sleep at night are all important aspects of preventing cognitive decline. .3. Staying Active, Exercise helps prevent brain inflammation and increases production of a protein that is vital for growing and maintaining neurons.Other brain-saving habits include adopting a healthy diet and cultivating a sense of purpose. .Despite the stereotypes, cognitive decline is not inevitable as you age, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can significantly reduce your risks for dementia later on in life, Sarah Lenz Lock, AARP’s senior vice president and executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health

New research has added to evidence that shows why stress isn’t helpful for aging. In fact, it can advance biological age.

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Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, have discovered how much chronic stress accelerates age and whether there are ways to slow it down. They used a type of “epigenetic clock” called “GrimAge,” for their trial. Such clocks have been shown to be better than chronological age at predicting lifespan and health.

Their findings showed that the biological clock ticks more quickly when people are stressed. But improved self-control and emotion regulation can make the effects more manageable.

The results were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Translational Psychiatry.

Rajita Sinha, one of the study’s authors, is Yale’s Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry. She is also a professor of neuroscience and professor at the Yale Child Study Center.

According to Sinha, continued stress increases the risk of mood disorders, addiction, heart disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also affect metabolism and by boosting obesity-related disorders such as diabetes. Thinking clearly and emotional regulation are also affected.

For the study, 444 participants ages 19 to 50 were enrolled. They gave blood samples to evaluate the age-related chemical changes from GrimAge and other health markers. They also answered questions meant to show levels of stress and psychological resilience.

After accounting for demographic and behavioral factors, researchers discovered that people who scored high on measures due to chronic stress showed accelerated aging markers and psychological changes, such as increased insulin resistance.

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But stress didn’t affect everyone in the same way.

Participants who had high scores on emotion regulation and self-control were more resilient to the effects of stress on aging and insulin resistance.

The more psychologically resilient the subject was, the greater chance they’d live a longer, healthier life, according to Zachary Harvanek, a resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, who helped lead the team with Sinha.

“These results support the popular notion that stress makes us age faster, but they also suggest a promising way to possibly minimize these adverse consequences of stress through strengthening emotion regulation and self-control,” Harvanek said.

“We all like to feel like we have some agency over our fate,” Sinha said. “So it is a cool thing to reinforce in people’s minds that we should make an investment in our psychological health.”

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