Week 7 theme – The Impact of Stress on Aging

Episode 31 – Dare Boldly: No matter your age.

In his response to Episode 30 on Friday, Mark suggested that the good stresses in life can keep us on track, and like an athlete pushing into the pain zone to get to the win, stress can keep us pushing into the gain zone.

All true.

The challenge is, our brain/body connection doesn’t differentiate between good stress/bad stress. To the amygdala, where pain first registers, the autonomic system response is immediate and ‘unthought’, triggering adrenaline and changes in our physiological responses and wellbeing.

Which means, stress is stress is stress. The important part is how we respond to stressors.

Take, for example, the noise workers made from 1 – 3 am this morning on the pedestrian bridge across the river not far from our home.

The pounding of pylons (or whatever they were doing) woke me up. And kept waking me up until the noise stopped at 3am.

I was not happy.

Today I’m tired. And grouchy.

There was little I could do about the noise at the time. I wasn’t prepared to go out in my pyjamas and yell at them to stop. And… as I discovered this morning when I called the city, it wouldn’t have made any difference! While there are bylaws prohibiting noise after 11pm and before 7am, as this is a city bridge and a city project, the bylaws don’t count.

How I handled my response in the middle of the night was important. Blocking the noise required earplugs and a conscious focus on my breathing. I eventually did get back to sleep. Interrupted sleep is not healthy as is not getting enough sleep. And, until I called the city to inquire about the bylaws and the obvious to me disregard for them, my grouchiness about it all wasn’t serving me well either.

As there isn’t anything I can do about the noise and the repairs to the bridge, my choice now is to find a way to accept the things I cannot change, and find a way to lower my mind’s need to go around in circles complaining about the injustice of it all.

Because… and here’s the big deal about it all – complaining and going in circles around something I can’t change adds stress to my daily life. And stress accelerates the aging process, especially if it’s unaddressed or long-term.

Which is why this week, instead of exploring Aging and Dreaming, I’ve chosen to dive into Aging and Stress.

To deal with stress, I must acknowledge it, face it and learn how best to cope with it.

For me, writing here, talking about the things that ‘bug’ me, identifying where I’m off-base and finding ways to deal with it that support and strengthen me, all help me age well – with grace and ease!

I do hope you share your stress-eliminating techniques, your thoughts on stress and your feelings about aging and stresses impact on your body, life, hopes and dreams.

You help make this conversation richer.

Video to come – maybe. Depends on if I take a nap or not! πŸ™‚

8 thoughts on “Week 7 theme – The Impact of Stress on Aging

    • I think I was once upon a time, one of those people Nance. Where my ‘stress junkie’ needs overrode my ‘give me peace and calm’ desires! LOL — I called myself an experiential learnrer– I just needed really, really big experiences to learn the lesson!

      And that is the challenge of stress – one small thing….. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I used to get stressed out, especially back in my working days. I probably still stress out over – I don’t know – my hair is sticking out thanks to humidity (we get that here in the Middle Kingdom, aka Ontario), what to make for supper, jeans are too tight (the shrink fairy got to them, again). Time to sit back and let stuff just float by for life is TOO short to get stressed out. Now, noise at 0300h on a bridge, that would be a stressor alright. I would be firing off an email to anyone I could think of at 0300h. But then common sense would slink its way into my conscious mind, or is that subconscious mind, and tell me to stop. Not worth firing off emails in anger. After morning coffee I would deal with it, maybe. Great advice. We are human, we stress, it is in our psyche. How we deal with it – that is the question. Still working on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL — like you, my bad hair days stress me out. But… I’ve learned on those days to just wash it and start over. πŸ™‚ Then again… mine is bone straight so frizz isn’t my issue. Tired, lanky hair is! πŸ™‚

      For me, dealing with the everyday stressors is vital to keeping myself balanced. And, what I notice too often is I don’t realize I’ve been working ‘in the stress-pond’ until I stop, look back and say – well my goodness! Look at me. NOw that was a stress-induced decision if I ever made one! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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