Important (and astounding) information on aging from NumLock:
Telomeres are protective caps that prevent damage to DNA. They also shorten each time a cell replicates, and when they get too short cells know it’s time to wrap it up and self-destruct. This plays a role in the aging process, and every year telomeres shrink by about 25 base pairs per year. Turns out that stress can seriously accelerate this process: first-year medical residents saw a decline of 140 base pairs, on average. Those who worked over 75 hours per week lost 700 base pairs.
Less stress equates to a reduction in aging.
This is very good news for me, as I tend to experience very little stress in my life. Why I experience very little stress is a matter of conjecture.
I’m sure that my daily meditation and exercise regimes help.
Perhaps I’m also genetically predisposed to less stress.
Maybe my aggressively optimistic nature protects me from the stress I might otherwise feel.
I suspect that perspective plays a role, too. Once you’ve been arrested for a crime you didn’t commit and subsequently become homeless while awaiting your trial, the problems of everyday life often pale in comparison. Add a couple near-death experiences and a violent robbery that led to decades of PTSD, and it’s hard to fluster me.
Here’s one other thing that I know:
There are people in my life who are often annoyed and even angry at my lack of stress. These are actual human beings who have told me (and others behind my back) that my lack of stress is inappropriate, frustrating, and ridiculous.
People have actually complained to me and others that I’m not experiencing enough stress.
I suspect that those people are aging rapidly.