Telomeres are a hot topic among health and wellness researchers. Telomeres are cap-like structures at the end of each chromosome that have the capacity to accelerate or decelerate the aging process, depending on your lifestyle choices. Diet, sleep hygiene, and exercise all play a role. Telomeres shorten as we age, with longer telomeres indicating good health, and shorter telomeres indicating poor health and chronic problems.
In telomere research, positive thinking is tied to robust cellular health. The opposite is also true: negative thinking has been tied to shorter telomeres and bad health outcomes. That means that stress, depression, and pessimistic thinking will make you look—and feel—older, faster.
The good news about telomere research is that it suggests we have more control over the aging process than was previously known. Negative thought patterns can be improved, either through practice or with guidance from a mental health professional. The power of positive thinking won’t just improve your outlook; it will also enhance your mental and physical health.
Is aging gracefully part of your long-term health plan? Our Instaread on The Telomere Effect has more information on how to get started.