Recent Blog Articles
Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally
Give praise to the elbow: A bending, twisting marvel
Sneezy and dopey? Seasonal allergies and your brain
The FDA relaxes restrictions on blood donation
Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?
Swimming and skin: What to know if a child has eczema
A muscle-building obsession in boys: What to know and do
Natural disasters strike everywhere: Ways to help protect your health
Dementia: Coping with common, sometimes distressing behaviors
Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?
Does stress management become more difficult as you age?
Ask the doctors
Q. Does it get harder to cope with stress as you age? I feel like it takes more of a toll on me now than when I was younger.
A. While stress certainly isn't easy to manage at any age, it can become more difficult to cope as you get older for a number of reasons. First, your body can't physically handle stress the same way it did when you were younger. Your heart and lungs may not have the capacity they once did, and your body may have a harder time recovering from stressful events. In addition, it may be more challenging to cope with stress mentally. A good night's sleep can help reduce stress in some instances, but as you age, you may not sleep as soundly, which can lead to higher levels of stress hormones in the brain. Your stress may also be caused by different factors, which could be more complicated than the issues you faced in your younger years. Signs of stress may mimic symptoms of memory loss or dementia or include appetite changes, headaches, anxiety, irritability, or trouble concentrating. Manage stress by using relaxation techniques, getting involved in community activities, taking care of yourself, eating right, getting enough sleep, and sticking to other healthy habits.
— by Hope Ricciotti, M.D., and Hye-Chun Hur, M.D., M.P.H.
Editors in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch
Image: © Nadzeya_Dzivakova/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!