How Does Stress Age Us?

Woman looking stressed at a computer.

It’s no secret that stress can take a hold on all of us from time to time, filling our minds with worries and negative thoughts. However, when stress builds up and maintains itself in our heads long-term, it can become unhealthy and lead to adverse long-term health effects such as mental health and depression. In fact, according to a medical review by The American Institute of Stress, 77% of people have experienced stress that affects their physical health, and 73% of people have experienced stress that affects their mental health. We worked with Dr. Vicente Mera of the SHA Wellness Clinic to learn more about stress and ageing, especially during their anti-ageing retreat. Let’s break down different causes and factors of stress and how they can affect our physical and mental health.



You Are What You Eat

A plate of chips and a burger

Caption: A plate of chips and a burger.


Believe it or not, our diets have a significant impact on our stress and mental health. During the ageing consultation at the SHA Wellness Clinic, diet is taken into consideration because there is a direct correlation between stress levels and diet. According to Matthew J. Kuchan, a senior research scientist at Abbott, eating a healthy diet can lower the negative effects of stress on the body. This is because stress affects the flow of blood in the body, and if there is a lack or slowing of blood flow to the brain, brain health can be affected! This means that adjusting your diet to include foods that contain Omega-3s such as red wine, blueberries, and dark chocolate can all improve blood flow and therefore be linked to stress reduction.


In terms of a wellness holiday, it may be beneficial to try a detox retreat. If you have been feeling a bit weighed down and can partly contribute this to an unhealthy diet, try switching it up and see how you feel! For example, the Detox retreat at Absolute Sanctuary may be the perfect retreat for your stress relief. Trying a detoxifying blend of different fresh juices and soups may be an unexpected stress reliever! In addition, this retreat offers different massages and other relaxing treatments such as foot soaks and core release massages. 


Getting a Full Night’s Rest

Woman having a difficult time sleeping

Caption: Woman having a difficult time sleeping.


Sleep deprivation and stress go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sleep is also one of the factors Dr. Mera looks at during the consultations he has with his clients, as a lack of sleep can have severe implications on your mood and stress levels. There can be a vicious cycle of not getting enough sleep, which causes stress, which can cause improper or lack of sleep. According to the American Psychological Association, people who slept less than eight hours per night reported significantly higher stress levels than those who slept for eight hours or more! Sleep is the way we are able to reset after a long day’s work, and it’s important that we give ourselves this recharge.


If you find yourself experiencing stress and you feel as though you aren’t getting enough sleep, try your hand at a sleep enhancement retreat. This is a great opportunity for you to learn and analyze your sleep patterns, as well as target them at the source with a professional. For example, Sleep Better at Priedlhof uses sleep bracelets to do just this, as well as treating you to a sleep massage in the Dolomites, and even includes four wellness events such as forest bathing and water healing! 

Break a Sweat to Beat the Stress

Group fitness class at Atmantan Wellness Resort

Caption: Group fitness class at Atmantan Wellness Resort


One of Dr. Mera’s key philosophies about stress and ageing is that prevention is better than finding a cure. Physical activity is another one of Dr. Mera’s key indicators towards the amount of stress in one’s life. Exercise and fitness are great ways to eliminate stress because of the endorphins they create, which help increase your mood as well as your sleep! In addition, a report by Harvard Medical School reported that exercise helps reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. It doesn’t have to be a HIIT workout either - even so much as a simple walk can help reduce these hormones! 


It would be an exciting and unique change of pace to try a fitness retreat. While this may be a challenge and not your average physical regimen, you would be surprised with all of the benefits you will reap! Many retreats offer sessions with personal trainers that design bespoke plans for you to improve your fitness at home! The Fitness retreat at Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti includes three of these personal training sessions, as well as draining wraps, osteopathy treatment, and a deep tissue massage! You’ll feel invigorated and it may just be the key to reducing your stress and feeling more youthful!

The Effect of Stress on Ageing

Woman applying cream on her face

Caption: Woman applying moisturising cream on her face.



There is a correlation between stress and ageing, as was highlighted by Dr. Mera. He developed the Healthy Ageing programme at SHA Wellness Clinic to highlight the ability to age gracefully and keep your body in excellent shape regardless of your age! According to Dr. Mera, an important principle of healthy ageing is that it begins internally and ends externally. This proves that it isn’t always anti-ageing serums and cosmetic principles promising youth that are the most effective, but a focus on sleep, diet, exercise, and stress.


Many anti-ageing retreats offer consultations, but Dr. Mera and his team at SHA Wellness Clinic are a cut above the rest. Your biological age is determined through your lifestyle and background, and from there a bespoke treatment is prepared for your time on holiday and also well after in your daily life! In addition, the holiday offers ozone therapy sessions, Chinese medicine treatments, and even a dental cleaning! Talk about the total package!


It’s impossible to live a life without stress, but when the going gets rough, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. So many elements of our daily life contribute to stress, which can cause us to age poorly through long term adverse health effects. A wellness retreat in a setting like detoxification or fitness may not seem like a direct help to combat stress and ageing, but they may just be what the doctor ordered to get you on the right track!


Talk to one of our Wellness Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your de-stress holidays!



Get £50 off your first holiday