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Is Anxiety Shortening Your Lifespan?

Is Anxiety Shortening Your Lifespan?

Ours is not exactly a society built for mellowness. We idolize the go-getters and ridicule the “slackers.” We celebrate the ones who seem to pack 25 hours’ worth of tasks into a 24 hour day and we judge, silently or not-so-silently, the ones who never seem to meet a deadline. We are the products of a culture built on the premise that you will succeed only through struggle and hard work.

And it’s killing us. As a society, we’re more overwhelmed, more stressed, more anxious than perhaps ever before. According to a recent report from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, some 40 million adults over the age of 18 in the US have some form of anxiety disorder. That’s nearly 20% of the entire US adult population.

Although, you don’t need demographic data to know the truth. All you need to do is look at surging rates of stress-related illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions to know that, as a population, we’re weighed down and sickened by anxiety (1, 2, 3, 4).

Chronic anxiety doesn’t just rob you of your quality of life, it can also deprive you of length of life. But, it doesn’t