Of course you’re stressed. Just look at you.

Los Angeles Times:

We all know the face of stress: the clenched jaw, the furrowed brow, the intense stare. And, really, it’s not a bad look. We all do some of our best work under pressure. Adrenaline and other stress hormones give us the kick start we need to meet deadlines and generally get ahead in life.

But when stress runs too hot for too long, the look changes. People who are stressed for years don’t merely appear driven or focused. They look beaten down. In large doses, stress can wear the body and speed up the clock on aging.

Lots of people are literally inflamed with stress, says Sheldon Cohen, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He explains that cortisol and other stress hormones trigger inflammation all over the body. In small doses, that’s OK, because a little inflammation can help fight infections and speed up healing from injury. But when people are too stressed out for too long, inflammation can get out of control, setting the stage for a long list of potential problems, including pain, heart disease and a weakened immune system. Cohen’s own research has found that stressed people get more than their fair share of colds.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

See Sheldon Cohen at the 25th APS Annual Convention.

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