Slow Aging with Stress Management

Stress and How it Ages Us

Stress. It's one of the biggest contributing factors to aging. It can wreak havoc in our bodies in ways we are not even aware of.

Chronic stress can be responsible for multiple negative health factors such as increased risk of heart disease, insomnia, an impaired digestive system, and depleted immunity.

As we age, it's extremely important to keep the immune system strong and vital. Managing stress will do this, along with eating well, getting enough sleep and taking good care of yourself.

Check out my top tips on how to manage daily stress in your life to help combat aging.

Social Connection & Engagement

As we get older, for some odd reason, we tend to socialize less and less. People get busy, friendships change, families move away, and we lose loved ones.

Human connection and socialization is extremely important for our health and well-being, and helps to manage stress. There are multiple studies showing that having a tight social circle and close friendships in our later years helps to keep us young, active and engaged. These connections are supportive to our mental and physical health on many levels.

One study in particular concluded these findings, those with the fewest close friends and social connections had mortality rates that were two to three times higher than those with high levels of social connectedness. Those are some pretty staggering numbers.

So, if you are feeling lonely, and as if you don't have enough social interaction in your life check out my next tip...

Find a Hobby and Get Going!

Having hobbies and doing things you love will not only help manage stress, but will also give you an opportunity to be around others with similar interests.

If you don't know what you like to do, make a list of all the things you have ever thought about doing, but never did because you were either too busy, afraid or it seemed silly or too lofty.

Go back to your childhood. What did you love to do then? Revisit those memories and add them to your list. Did you like to ride your bike? Draw? Paint? Take Photos? Hang out with your friends and make up silly games? Maybe you've thought about volunteering but never did. Make that list and pick one thing this month to research and get involved with, in a group setting. Meet Up groups are a great way to meet people in your area with common interests.

Meditation for Relaxation

Meditating scares a lot of people but the truth is, it's been proven time and again to help with stress management. Meditation doesn't have to be hard. Most people don't meditate because they feel as though they can never stop their thoughts. But, that's not what meditation is about.

Meditation is about calming your nervous system and boosting your immune system. The benefits of it are exponential and there are lots of different types of meditations out there to choose from, so you can find one that works for you. I tend to like listening to meditation visualizations because it gives my mind something to do. 

Meditation is not meant to stop your mind, that's quite impossible. That's like telling your nose not to smell anymore or your tongue not to taste. We will always have thoughts, it's how we relate to them that matters. Start small with a few minutes and day and see how it helps to calm your mind. You can even meditate while you walk. Or use this simple deep breathing technique; Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4. Continue to do this until you start to feel your body relax.

Exercise as Stress Relief


Exercise is another huge vehicle to help reduce stress in your life. Moving your body every day in some way helps to release all those good chemicals in your brain that keep you feeling happy and content.

If you are not a regular exerciser, start with walking or gentle stretching. Other great forms of stress-relieving exercise include; yoga, tai chi, chi gong, dancing, jogging, swimming. Again, it's about finding what you love and what feels good to you and doing it. A lot of these forms of exercise will also put you in social situations too, so you are getting 2 for the price of 1. Bingo!

Being Thankful & Expressing Gratitude

Look, if we focus on the negative in our life, we will feel icky. If we focus on the positive and are grateful for what WE DO HAVE, that will lead to feelings of overall well-being and satisfaction.

I find that the more I am thankful for all that I have in my life; friends, family, my health, that it lowers my level of stress and supports me in feeling motivated, empowered and inspired.

Start a daily gratitude list and write down 3 things every day that you feel thankful for. If you can't find anything, make a goal to change that. Get out there and try new things. Be bold.

Being Of Service

This is the biggest one for me. You know, when I was younger all I thought about was making a good living so I could have money to do whatever I wanted. What I realized after getting the money, was that it didn't make me any happier to be able to do whatever I wanted. What did make me happy was being of service and giving back.

My work with the US Armed Forces has been the most rewarding. When I see people transform in front of my eyes because they were empowered and motivated to exercise, that fills me up more than anything and lowers any stress I have in my life.

Get out there and find a cause you feel passionate about. Help others close by that need it. Reach out and ask someone if they need support. Trust me, it will change your world and help to reduce the stress in your life ten-fold.

Laughing...A lot

Laughter is the best medicine. I can't "stress" this enough. If you don't remember the last time you had a good belly laugh, put on a comedy or call a friend and ask them to tell you a funny story.

Laughter changes our brain chemistry and releases endorphins in the body which help to lower stress. We all have something to laugh about, even if it's at ourselves.

Take Care of Yourself No Matter What

Whatever you do to manage stress, be sure that it feels good for you. The bottom line is that it's important that we continue to take optimal care of ourselves as we age. Getting plenty of rest, exercise, eating well, drinking enough water and managing our stress can help support us in staying healthy for many years to come.

Stress doesn't have to be a factor in our aging, so go ahead and take charge of your health by integrating these very simple tips into your life as much as possible. Your life will be so much richer for it. Get out there and have some FUN!

Continue Reading