The short guide to dealing with stress in later life

Boredom in retirement -that'll be the day!
Boredom in retirement -that’ll be the day!

Of course stress has no respect for age.We know it’s part of life.Its destructive nature can affect anyone at any time, and the long term effects can creep up like a shadows in the night inflicting their damage to our health, catching us unawares.The natural ability to withstand the persistent onslaught of stress is much degraded,as we grow older, but succumbing to ravages to health is not inevitable.Many older people successfully live out their later lives to the full by reducing and managing stress partly through a positive mental attitude to life and partly due to a lifestyle that keeps them physically active by taking an appropriate level of exercise to maintain a level of fitness to ward off,minimise or defer illnesses that otherwise debilitate others of a similar biological age.Stress busting is a key factor in maintaining active health into longer active life.

Chris Woolston M.S. says,”Stress comes in two basic flavors, physical and emotional — and both can be especially taxing for older people. The impacts of physical stress are clear. As people reach old age, wounds heal more slowly and colds become harder to shake. A 75-year-old heart can be slow to respond to the demands of exercise. And when an 80-year-old walks into a chilly room, it will take an extra-long time for her body temperature to adjust.

“Emotional stress is more subtle, but if its chronic, the eventual consequences can be harmful. At any age, stressed-out brains sound an alarm that releases potentially harmful hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Ideally, the brain turns down the alarm when stress hormones get too high.”via Chris Woolston M.S. health day.com
Apparently, the older we get the less effective the brain is in turning down that alarm.

We have the experience and knowledge to deal with stress don’t we?

The problem many of us find as we become older is that the causes that trigger anxiety in us change.So if we have been good at dealing with stress in the past we may not be so in the future.A change in family role when the children leave home for instance, financial pressures, the passing of a loved one,or an age-related illness, perhaps, may increase our anxiety levels in a way never experienced before.

Natural remedies for stress and anxiety may help

There is a vast  number of natural herbal remedies out there recommended to help reduce stress and anxiety.Many of these have been handed down the generations as so called ‘old wives tales’ which people believe to be efficacious. The Celts, Romans and Native Americans are known to have used their ancient herbs to relieve stress and anxiety.(Mike lamelle mindbodygreen.com)  .Blue vervain (verbena hastata) for example. Other common remedies include teas of Chamomile (also from the Romans),basil and marjoram.Lettuce with dinner has a calming effect on many.Rosemary tea is often taken for melancholy and depression.For insomniacs, lavender and dill have applications for use to scent bed linen as an aid to sleep via almanac .com

What about long term stress and anxiety?

However,not everyone agrees that herbal supplements are the best way to go to relieve anxiety. In fact in some circumstances, taking certain supplements with other prescribed medication may be considered harmful, and appropriate medical advice should be sought. Thomas Lenz, an associate professor of pharmacy at Creighton University in Nebraska says,”Just because their herbal doesn’t mean they’re safe.” In his view after reviewing scientific reports on supplements, lemon balm appears to be both safe and reasonably effective in reducing stress in the short term.While some herbal supplements can reduce it and anxiety over short periods they are not a long-term solution.

Some more natural remedies ( via wholeliving.com) exercise

  • exercise
  • acupressure
  • music
  • herbal remedies
  • relaxation tools
  • chakra balancing
  • unplug email etc. at start and end of day
  • do something for fun
  • stop your thoughts
  • stand still
  • do something special for yourself

Quick Takeaway

All the advice to reduce stress long term seem to point in the main to:

physical – take regular exercise, and keep to a balanced healthy diet
mental – keep a positive outlook on life

Quotes:

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” –Winston Churchill

“Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.” – Judith Lasater

Please note : all the information given above is provided for educational and informational purposes only.

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