Ongoing stress is bad for your emotional and physical health. It can promote disease, reduce the length of telomeres — a biomarker of biological aging — and reduce the number of years you’ll live. That much is well established.
But there’s another, more subtle form of psychological stress that has a powerful influence on health and telomere length.
It has to do with the glue that binds communities together. It concerns how well neighbors are willing to help each other, whether they generally get along and can be trusted, and whether people in the neighborhood share the same values.