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Healthy Aging

How stress affects seniors, and how to manage it

June 1, 2016

Exercise, breathing techniques, and medication can help you manage stress as you get older.

friends walking reducing stress exercising
 Image: moldboard/Thinkstock

We all experience a little stress from time to time. It's not so hard to handle when we're young. But as we age, coping with stress isn't as easy anymore. "We tend to have less resilience to stress, and older adults often find that stress affects them differently now," says Dr. Michelle Dossett, an internal and integrative medicine specialist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

Changes in response

Changes in triggers

When you were younger, your stressors may have been a busy day at the office or a crying child. "Stressors that tend to affect seniors are the loss of a loved one; too much unstructured time on your hands; a change in relationships with children; or a loss of physical abilities, such as vision, hearing, balance, or mobility," says Dr. Dossett.

Symptoms of stress may include tension headaches, indigestion, heart palpitations, poor concentration, sleep difficulties, anxiety, irritability, crying, or overeating. If any of these symptoms are interfering with your quality of life, Dr. Dossett suggests that you seek help.

What you should do

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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