How to Relieve Stress as We Age...

We all need to seriously relieve stress as we age. If my own parents are any indicator, stress only increases as we age. It's time to clarify what is really bad thinking and begin to manage our stress better!

Do you realize that 80% of health issues are stress-related? Stress is TOXIC, it affects your brain and your body. As you are stressed, cortisol (the "fight or flight" hormone) increases -AND- oxytocin (your love/hug connections hormones) decrease. 

Keep your Health - Dump the Stress!

Good Stress vs Bad Stress

Good Stress: All through life we have daily stressors and this daily stress isn't bad -- it's called Eustress. Stress only becomes bad when we don't manage it well (or at all).

Bad Stress: Distress is the bad stress. We all know anxiety, sadness, heartbreak and pain. This type of stress causes physical changes in your body like:  your muscles tense, your breathing changes, heart beats faster, and generally your body shifts to the old “fight or flight" mode.

You do not want physical reactions like this... long term it causes you real pain, even illness.

What Causes Stress as we Age?

We've always been stressed over life issues. As we age, however, even smaller things that wouldn't normally bother us become stressful.

Now -- What causes this fight or flight response? Why do we overreact so that our heart starts to beat wildly over the smallest of things? 

  • you lost your glasses or your keys, again
  • you agree to do what you don’t want to do
  • you are late for a doctor appointment
  • you are hospitalized, and the stress remains after you are back home
  • your car is in the shop being repaired
  • you are bored and have little to do, all day, every day

None of these things is really dangerous and yet we have that bad stress changing our body with the fight or flight response.

  • you know darn well that your glasses or keys are there in your home, somewhere... why get agitated so that your health is affected?
  • you are retired... you no longer have to say "yes" to things you no longer care to do, why feel guilty about saying "no thanks"?
  • people are late for appointments, even retired when they have plenty of time. life happens.
  • yes, you were hospitalized. Now you are back home. Let your mind and soul relax and heal itself so you can return to life again.
  • no car, you are stuck, but only temporarily... clean a drawer or read a book, use your time wisely, until the car is back home.
  • get busy, get out of that house, do something, go to the movies, eat lunch out, anything but staying in the house to vegetate. you need sunlight, people, and life surrounding you.

Yes, those are the small stressors of life. There are big ones too!

You might face late-life divorce, lose your partner to death, downsize from your home, face an injury/illness, and simply everyday aging as we notice the things in life we can no longer do. 

How to Manage your Stress

Stop your Negative Self-Talk!
Have you considered you are programming your own mind?

First -- you need to change your self talk. Negative thoughts bring negative life stories.

You are what you think!  (quotes for aging gracefully)

This is REALLY true. This Self-Programming pattern of mindless thinking is called Self Limiting Beliefs.  You create your own limits - and then are powerless to change them. 

Do you hate retirement? If you are newly retired and you think I HATE RETIREMENT, over and over, your subconscious knows that to be true... especially if you are thinking that with emotion! If you hate something (or think you do), or fear something, you are repeating it over and over with emotion... yikes! Instead of seeking solutions, you are affirming how much you dislike this period of life.

This really is a negative affirmation you are repeating -- you are programming your mind for this negative retirement thinking. You are telling your mind that you hate retirement, and it believes you, and retirement is going to be really a tough road for you. Your subconscious acts on your behalf daily, when you don't even know why you are doing what you are doing, your mind is doing what it thinks is best for you.

Do you volunteer in your community? You know you want to volunteer to help others. You never apply for any of these positions thinking you aren't ready. Maybe someone long ago told you that you must always get paid for your services. Maybe someone suggested volunteering is for losers. Whatever -- you don't remember it, but it stuck in your subconsious all these years and when you are finally ready to give back to society - BAM! You look, you consider, but you never apply and don't know why.

Do you lose things all the time? When you lose something, does your mind automatically go to: All older people lose stuff! This is not true. All PEOPLE (not just older people) lose things, distracted by their mind and the object is simply lost. Seek a solution -- a place where car keys go the minute you walk into your home, a specific table your handbag sits on when you are home, where in your bag your keys go. Solutions work, drop the bad mindset.

This same thing has happened over your lifetime. Childhood fears still rule your anxiety and stress even today -- because you've repeated these silly fears over a lifetime. Your subconscious cannot tell reality from junk. 

When you think (or worse yet, say out loud) --  I can’t, I won’t, I'll try, but, I should -- all of these words and more promote negative vibes coming at you. Just think -- when you say "I can't ...", you are totally setting yourself up for not being able to accomplish this task. If you use the word BUT, you are automatically negating what you just said. 

Over and over again, your worries, pain, conflict becomes an affirmation because you have repeated your thoughts over and over again and WITH emotion.  You don't realize it but you really are programming your mind for exactly what you don’t want.

You might think affirmations don’t work… well, they do... you do it to yourself daily.

What you say and what you think are the same — YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK.

Put some positive ideas and thought patterns into your mind... check out affirmations here!  Don't forget -- find some you like, repeat daily and use EMOTION to tell your mind that this is really something you believe!

Positive Affirmations (and free)

I beleive in Affirmations but in positive forward moving affirmations.

Free Affirmations are available here

Simply look for the category you need help in, print it, make changes to make it yours -- a word here and there that you might not use, or adding specifics to your own life. Repeat with EMOTION, just like you do when you repeat the mean negative things to yourself.

Affirmations Rock!

Stop. Ask: What Triggered That?

What triggers this stressful feeling? Stop for one moment, the moment the stress happen, and think... Ask yourself:

WHAT IS Causing THIS? 

You need to ask yourself the questions and then seek answers.

You can INTERRUPT your normal pattern of stress — respond with the question instead of those physical stressors. Let your mind think logically instead of going into a panic with anxiety.

Then the Adult in you can ask: What can I do to make this situation better?

ANY TIME your mind is racing... STOP IT. Ask yourself to find a solution. Use pen and paper, if you must, to control those worrisome anxious thoughts -- seek solutions!

Free Consultation Call

Interested in chatting about your stress?  I host free 30-minute calls, one-on-one, to allow retirees to talk out their issues. Sometimes just speaking it outloud will do wonders for your stress! Seriously!  

Read on here by visiting my Retirement site and booking our call... Free Calls.