Can You Reverse the Effects of Stress?

The effects of stress can be reversed by eating right, exercising, meditating and sleeping more, according to Shape. Being surrounded by loved ones can also help reduce and reverse the effects of stress on the body.

A study published in "The Lancet Oncology" claims that developing these habits can add 10 years to a person's lifespan within just a matter of a few months. The study involved the observance of the caps at the end of chromosomes that serve the purpose of keeping DNA strands from unraveling. These structures are called telomeres, and they were present in the study in men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. As a person ages, these caps get shorter, which is an effect that increases premature death risk from diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease. They are also shortened by chronic stress; the study found that this shortening could reduce life from 9 to 17 years.

Study participants with the damaged telomeres were given a diet high in plant foods and exercised 6 days a week while attending support groups and practicing meditation or yoga. At the end of 3 months, the study participants had increased the telomeres by up to 10 percent, reversing some of the damage that was previously done.