Stress is a fact of life. The key to reducing the unhealthy and aging effects of stress is identifying its causes and implementing positive coping techniques. It is vital to aging well to reduce your stress and manage its effects in healthy ways.
"Change is the norm as you age. As a result, it is common for older adults to experience significant stress, anxiety and depression. Yet all too often, people focus on worry and rumination rather than taking action to find resources to solve or address their problem. Focus on making a plan to address your situation rather than just worrying about it. Incorporate stress management and resilience techniques into your life. Take a five-minute break, pace your breathing, hug someone or take a walk around the block. Increasing your physical activity is a positive and active strategy you can incorporate into your life to help manage the stress in your life. Research shows there is also significant benefit from being socially connected when you are managing the stress of a chronic health condition. Those who have social connections do better. Connecting with others beyond your family, such as at your church or group you share a hobby with, can be an important antidote to your stress." - Kristin S. Vickers Douglas, Ph.D., L.P., Professor of Psychology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Health Coaching program.
Take Action Now
- Take Time to Reflect. Make a list of the 10 situations, concerns or challenges that trigger your stress and identify what you can do to minimize them.
- Connect to Your Body. Take a yoga class. Go for a walk. Find outlets for physically releasing your stress.
- Try Meditating. Practice mindfulness in meditation using the free Mayo Clinic Patient Education CD Relaxation for Your Mind and Body.
- Volunteer. Find meaning in new passions by using your work skills in a volunteer opportunity.
- Seek Resources. Pick up a copy of The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living.