Everyone goes through peaks and valleys in coping with the normal stresses of life. Everyone experiences feelings of loneliness, confusion, sadness, hurt, and grief. Some times even the littlest things can trigger overwhelming emotions. Managing these and knowing when to seek professional guidance contributes to your well being as you age.
If you feel stress and anxiety daily, you are not alone. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel this way every day.
Despite stress being something that everyone experiences, what causes it can differ from person to person. For instance, one person may become angry and overwhelmed by a serious traffic jam, while another might turn up their music and consider it a mild inconvenience.
Finances, work, and estranged or challenging relationships are often cited as top reasons for stress. In addition, adapting to new roles, like being a family caregiver, and navigating major decisions during times of significant illness or grief, heighten stress.
Stress and anxiety are natural, short-term reactions that people need to stay safe when experiencing a stimulus or trigger that disturbs physical or mental balance. And they affect people differently. They can cause spikes in heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure. They can lead to muscle tension, rapid breathing, or a slowing of the digestive and immune systems. They can even impact the quality of your concentration, sleep and relationships, and eating habits. (Some people gain weight due to the increased production of the stress hormone, cortisol.)
It’s important to find ways to relieve stress. Experiment to find what works best for you. Maybe it’s singing in the shower. Or taking a walk. Or combination of both.
Find the joy: One recommended way to destress is to laugh! Watch a funny video clip or TV show, or look back on a picture or memory that makes you laugh at loud.
Keeping stress at a manageable level helps improve your quality of aging and overall well-being. Make certain to check out the external resources included in TroveStreet’s Learn to Embrace Healthy Living/Managing Stress section for tips and ideas to relieve stress in these areas.
And remember: when stress interferes with everyday life or leads to thoughts of irrational fears or feeling out of control, please seek help and guidance from a professional.
The following resources are also available:
- Pennsylvania’s Support & Referral Helpline connects Pennsylvanians with mental and emotional support and to local resources. Call 855-284-2494 (TTY: 724-631-5600).
- Call 2-1-1 to reach the United Way and get connected to help in your area. Search crisis services, hotlines, and warmlines near you on the United Way of Pennsylvania website.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hotline: Call 9-8-8
TroveStreet is Here to Help
If you haven’t already, create an online profile with TroveStreet where you can jot down things you want to keep handy based on what you read or save this article for easy access. TroveStreet offers a Quick-Start Planning Tool with four questions to facilitate your planning. If you have questions or want to connect with a Planning Navigator, call TroveStreet at 717-363-1129.