I don’t think there is a more appropriate time than now to address this topic. This is the most stressful, chaotic and difficult to understand time I can ever remember in my lifetime.
That being said, we all have specific things that trigger our stress response. We are all unique individuals who have different life experiences and personalities. However. as we age, our stress triggers can and will change, as will our reactions to them.
According to research, our ability to manage stress isn’t static. It changes over time for numerous reasons. Physical changes in hormonal activity, like during puberty, peri-menopause and menopause affect how we respond to and manage stress.
Obviously going through an intense period of personal change – death of a loved one, moving, changing or losing jobs, end of a relationship, etc. are also stressors specific to us at certain times in our lives.
We will never live on this earth without stress, but there is some good news. There is a growing body of research revealing that our ability to regulate our emotions seems to improve with age. Consider this 1993 study of 184 adults of various ages that spanned 15 years: those participating were asked to record both their positive and negative emotions multiple times over the course of a week once every five years.
After 15 years researchers found that overall, the participants’ self-reported emotional well-being actually increased with age. Their outlooks evened out and there was more stability overall. Another important piece of info is that those who reported more positive than negative emotions were more likely to have survived over the 15 year period. Their surprising conclusion was that emotional well-being is not only maintained but in some ways improves throughout adulthood and that older adults tend to maintain a positive mood during stressful times more than younger adults do.
I can see this clearly happening in many instances right now. And I can relate it to how my grandmother handled extremely difficult, challenging and stressful events in her life (moving to a new country as a teenager where she didn’t speak the language, couldn’t read or write, arranged marriage, becoming a widow with 3 children at age 27) as compared to how we react to things much less stressful! I can honestly say she approached everything with faith and serenity throughout her 90 years of life. So I can see how this study came to the conclusions it did.
There is not often good news associated with aging, but I think this certainly qualifies!
Do you feel your ability to handle stress is improving? Why or why not?
Want to see more articles like this? Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader. To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!
Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU