Managing & Reducing Senior Stress

This post was prepared for Stellar Living by Markentum.

Everyone experiences stress from time to time; it’s a natural reaction. However, it becomes an issue when we experience stress for long periods of time. When this happens, it is referred to as chronic stress. So let’s explore managing and reducing senior stress.


According to Gallup, “about eight in 10 Americans say they frequently (44%) or sometimes (35%) encounter stress in their daily lives.” Because so many individuals are affected by it, our team at Stellar Senior Living is sharing the impact that chronic stress can have on the mind and body, as well as tips for managing and reducing feelings of stress.


How Stress Impacts the Mind & Body


To understand how stress impacts us, we have to understand what happens when we experience stress. According to The American Institute of Stress, “stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences.” So, stress is the body’s natural survival technique. 


According to the Mayo Clinic, “adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.”


In a life-or-death situation, these hormones pumping through your body is a good thing. However, chronic stress can also lead to:


  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Memory and concentration impairment


How to Manage and Reduce Your Stress


Identify What Triggers Your Stress


There is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing and reducing stress, and the same can be said about what triggers feelings of stress. You may find certain situations stressful that others do not, and vice versa. So, the first step to getting chronic stress under control and finding relief is to figure out what is causing it. 


“Forty percent of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives (WebMD).” Other common causes of stress include financial concerns, a life change like getting married/divorced, moving, health issues, and caregiving.


A good way to identify your stress is through journaling. Whenever you start to feel stressed, write down your current situation and what caused you to feel this way. By doing this consistently, you will be able to recognize patterns and common triggers that lead to your feelings of stress. Once you know your triggers, you can learn how to avoid them or find ways to deal with them in a healthier way.


Get Plenty of Exercise


Exercise provides many benefits. One of them is helping to reduce feelings of stress. While stress releases adrenaline and cortisol, physical activity releases its own set of hormones that can help balance those linked to stress. 


According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, “exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers.” Endorphins have been shown to improve mood and are known as the “feel good” hormones. This means that they can help reduce feelings of stress.


Many people may think that exercise needs to be high-intensity or for an extended period of time to have a positive effect. However, this is not the case. Many low-intensity activities can help you manage your stress, including:


  • Taking a walk
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Tai chi
  • Dancing
  • Gardening


Catch Some Zzz’s


Sleep is your body’s way of hitting the reset button. Getting enough good quality sleep is crucial and allows your mind and body to repair itself from the day before. Prioritizing sleep will help you will feel better. It will also help you to handle any stress that you may face the next day.

Practicing stress management doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a few moments out of your morning or evening to take a couple of deep breaths. Managing and reducing your stress is all about being mindful and finding what works for you.


If you are looking for more senior living and lifestyle tips, we invite you to visit the Stellar Senior Living website.

This post was prepared for Stellar Living by Markentum.