At 43, why stress harms you more?

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Stress is an absolutely normal reaction the body has when change occurs. It can affect your mood and your performance and of course your interaction with loved ones, including fur babies. They notice!  Everybody has stress, and whilst it is normal dealing with it can either make the situation worse or alleviate it.  At the age of 43 life is catching up and the normal answer to stress can’t be the same remedy going forward.  Work hard, play hard is no longer a strategy that works for you, your body, or your mind.  Finding alternative ways to alleviate the symptoms of stress will create a better longer-term vision for your life.  Finding a healthier way of dealing with stress is imperative as you get older.

What does stress do to your brain?

Researchers found that when stress becomes a way of life the prefrontal cortex part of your brain begins to reduce in size. This cortex regulates your amygdala, blood pressure, and heartbeat but also enables you to learn, plan, concentrate and make judgments.

Stress creates double trouble

Under long term stress, the hippocampus reduces in size which impacts your memory.  The hippocampus is principally involved in storing your long-term memories and in making those memories resistant to forgetting. It is also thought to play an important role in spatial processing and navigation

Prolonged stress or chronic stress over a number of years will reduce the ability of the hippocampus to work efficiently. It becomes smaller and your long term memory is affected. You only have to watch a colleague who you recognise as a stress bunny by nature and how they jump from one thing to another, forgetting what they were saying or doing to see the reality of long term stress in action.

The other issue with long term stress is that the amygdala in the brain increases. This is important because the amygdala fuels your ‘fear’ response and circular thought patterns driving anxiety.

Decreased sizes of the hippocampus affecting your memory and increased size of your amygdala mean that you are more aware and more prone to a stressful reaction. It becomes double trouble

 

Don’t miss – don’t eat over your emotions express them

6 ways to reduce your stress response

 

Drink green tea

I have been a long time advocate of green tea because it has comp can also have a calming effect on your mind. Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea leaves, helps you relax and keep stress at bay. According to researchers, theanine also helps to reduce anxiety. Other teas that can help reduce stress are chamomile tea which has a smooth flavour that makes it easy to sip on.  Peppermint tea is refreshing  both hot and cold and valerian root tea has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years for its natural sedative effect

Don’t miss: Foods to eat every day

 

Exercise

Research from the Mayo Clinic outlines that exercise in any form can act as a stress reliever. It helps pump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins, and will lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.

The CrossFit motto is ‘nobody ever regrets completing a workout’

Exercising will improve your self-esteem especially if you do it with friends.

The gym isn’t the best way to improve your physicality or your self-esteem. Comparison-itis is a thing, comparing yourself to 25 year old isn’t going to help your body image. The stationary aspect of the gym equipment means you only focus on one or two muscles at a time. Mat based class based Pialtes is the best thing for your body and your mind.  I may be a little biased.  Find a physical activity you enjoy, whether it’s on your bike, tennis or vigorous walking, more like running than walking. Exercising regularly and sticking to it will improve your physical and mental health.

Don’t miss Exercises for a flat tummy if you over 40

Unplug

A study from the University of British Columbia found that limiting the frequency of checking email throughout the day reduced daily stress and also makes you less productive at work. Reduce checking your email to three times a day — once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at night — this will reduce your stress at work and boost productivity.

Don’t miss: Simple pleasures to reduce stress

 

Chew gum

A study from Swinburne University in Melbourne, levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower by 16 percent than non-gum chewers during mild stress and nearly 12 percent lower in moderate stress.

 

Humour

Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress, brings your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. It lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.

Don’t miss: Laughter really is the best medicine

 

Journaling

Writing stuff down, helps you to reevaluate your reaction to an event at work or at home.

The letter that should never be sent. 

If you haven’t got a coach to gain perspective then using pen and paper is the next best way of overcoming stressful thoughts, that harm you, not the perpetrator. Journaling is a therapeutic way to work through the frustrations you face in the workplace.

So, instead of bottling your work frustrations inside, let them out on paper.

 

Transformational change 

Change that lasts forever takes time, one step at a time.  Creating a long-lasting ‘relationship with yourself’.  A loving, cherished relationship with yourself.  A lifestyle change with reduced stress will take longer, but the results are transformational.   Adaptative change that works with your life, creates confidence and long term effective change.

I’d love to chat about the change you want to see happen, book a time that suits and let’s work together and become the best version of you, it is your time

 

Get Gorgeous is a journey together – yours and mine.

PS. Gorgeous! is your insight into great health and vitality Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day.  Click here to download your FREE chapter of Gorgeous!

Find out what other clients have to say…

I retired from the NHS in March 2018 after almost 40 years service, first as a nurse but for 35 years as a medical secretary, nursing had to go due to a back injury.   I felt very fat and uncomfortable! By following the Adele links I thought I would take the opportunity to book a call to have a chat with Adele.  Little did I know how this would change my life.  Sounds dramatic, but it absolutely has.

I don’t think I had thought about how committed I would need or want to be, I just thought Adele would help me to lose weight and get fitter, but at the end of that first call when I cried, sobbed and was an absolute mess, I realised I was on a path to a better way of life which I knew Adele would help me get through.

I was in the process of selling the family home which was taking a horrible amount of time and which was traumatic as the decision to move had been a hard one in the first place.  It was where we had lived for 20 years and where my darling husband Stuart had died in my arms after a short cruel illness but one he had fought so hard against.  On that first call, Adele helped me realise I was still grieving even if I believed I was fine although I knew the mask was still evident a lot of the time, safety net rules.

I signed up to the Get Gorgeous programme and got going with wholehearted commitment.  Within a short space of time, I was completely hooked on what the process was about and the possible end results.  Even though I was committed it was the support and encouragement of Adele that kept me going.  I was doing the workouts set out in the modules I was following.  I found doing the workouts on a daily basis easy to follow and enjoyable.  I was doing these on the suggested three times a week but as I progressed through the modules I was able to mix and match them through the week and so I was doing something every day, as well as walking and golfing.  Great strides.  I was also losing weight and feeling so much better for it.

The weight loss was becoming noticeable and I was receiving compliments from family and friends, which was a great morale booster for me.  I was starting to believe in me! Alongside me all the way was Adele whose encouragement, positivity and commitment to me (she made me feel as if I was the only person she was doing this for and so made me feel very special) was endless and worth so very much and to whom I will be forever grateful.  With the zoom meeting calls, Adele was able to see the changes in me and obviously my weekly submitted adherence sheets.  It was obvious it was working for me and I felt so incredibly positive and excited by what I was achieving.

Before I started the programme I was very sad, even though I believe I covered it well, I missed Stuart so very much and although I was busy in my life he was missing.   Since becoming a part of this journey I believe I am a bit more outgoing, although probably still feel more comfortable with those I know well and happy to be a part of the background.  I don’t think that is a negative thing but will change as I continue to grow in confidence.   I cannot tell you how much seeing and talking to Adele has done for me in self-belief and confidence.

Adele is one of the most positive, encouraging, committed people I have met.  She is so obviously knowledgeable about her subject and is keen to share this and help anyone achieve whatever they want,  can’t wait for the book.

She is so exuberant and delightful that I just want to do my best for her and myself.   For me the benefits are endless and although I have completed the modules the journey continues and becomes a positive way of life.  I feel that I am more forward-looking than I was before and that is a massive plus and I feel very proud of myself.

Along the journey of Get Gorgeous I have lost a stone and a half in weight and lost lots of inches and have become much fitter and so I think I have achieved what I set out to achieve.  Overall I feel so much lighter in mood and positive in my outlook which is a massive achievement and which is ongoing.    Adele Stickland is a most extraordinary woman who I adore and feel I can call a friend.  Thank You Adele.

Gill Fenwick Retired nurse Get Gorgeous 28th October 2018

 

REF:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214005810

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-08/epr-nrf082908.php

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