Doctors cite stress as biggest enemy to health and wellness

Published: Jul. 20, 2016 at 1:30 AM CDT
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The job of President of the United States is often cited as the most stressful job that a person can have. Even, if you aren't the president, you might often feel like your daily stress is on-par with that of the Commander in Chief.

According to Cleveland Clinic Wellness Expert Dr. Michael Roizen, when it comes our wellness, stress is our biggest enemy.

"It decreases your memory, it increases your risk of infections and cancer," he said. "It increases your risk of all of the common [problems], heart disease, stroke, memory loss, kidney failure, diseases that are associated with arterial aging, so it is the greatest ager we know of."

Dr. Roizen says stress is a common factor in people's lives and that there are several life stressors that can really take a toll on your aging. Life events such as dealing with the death of a loved one, moving, divorce, and taking a new job are among them.

Another type of stress that ages us is the result of nagging, unfinished tasks, such as the paper that you haven't written yet, or the project that is looming at work.

Dr. Roizen says human beings are equipped with the stress reaction going back to primitive days when the response to stress was based on the choice of 'fight or flight.'

He says that today, for most every day stressors that folks face, we have to find a way to deal with the problem to make the stress go away and ward off accelerated aging.

"You've got to get a plan to deal with it, and that, by dealing with it, you help yourself," Dr. Roizen said. "So the most important way of doing is, doing the unfinished tasks, dealing with the issue."

Another way to deal with stress includes the use of meditation. Dr. Roizen recommends that folks find five minutes, once in the morning and once in the evening, to commit to mediation each day.