We all know that leading a stress filled life can shorten our stress filled life. Heart attack and stroke are two of the most common ailments that we think about when we think about having too much stress. But did you know that you can not only live longer but you can also look better while doing it? Stress can have a very negative effect on your appearance.

Besides shaving years off of your life, stress can also make you look older. There are many physical side effects of having too much stress in your life.

Here are just a few:

1. If you are prone to acne and breakouts, they will occur more often if you are stressed. The reason for this is that your body will secrete more of a hormone that encourages the production of sebum and that can clog pores.

2. You can really start to look pale, unhealthy, and washed out when you get too stressed. Just take a look in the mirror after you've had a rough day with your kids, spouse or at work. See how pale and unhealthy you look?

When you are under stress your body reacts almost as if it were under attack, it sends blood to vital organs to keep them functioning. This is great for your heart and head, but not so hot for your complexion. It's this lack of blood flow that makes you look like you could guest star on True Blood.

3. Rashes and bumps all over your skin are yet another possible side effect of being too stressed out. When you get ultra stressed your body will release histamines and that can cause the itching, nasty bumps you can get.

Hopefully now you can see that lessening your stress level will pay off not only in the future (since you will have more of a future) but in the here and now as well.

Of course, many of us might think that this all sounds great but just how are we supposed to de-stress? Well, that is the real trick, we can't just cut a lot of the things out of our life that cause us stress... or can we?

I'm not suggesting that you give your spouse the old heave ho or put your kids up for adoption, but sometimes we put ourselves in situations that will increase our stress.

The next time someone asks you to volunteer for something it is ok to say no. Who cares if you're not the most important parent at the PTA? At least you'll be around long enough to see your kids grow up.

Also, find time to unwind. It doesn't matter if it's just a few minutes, that few minutes can really make a big impact on your overall well being.

It's really quite simple, find some easy things that you can do to lessen your stress level. This can help you stay around longer and look at lot better too.