Relieve Stress As We Age

| February 13, 2015 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post
Relieve Stress As We Age

Relieve Stress As We Age

Anxiety and Baby Boomers

Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life (Career Press, 2015)

Steps About How to Relieve Stress as We Age

Retirement had been most enjoyable for Sid and Maggie.  They had worked hard, saved their money and invested wisely.  As many Baby Boomers, their retirement packages were thriving in a growing economy.  Then, 2008 hit.  Before they knew what happened, their portfolio had dropped in value by 40%.  In the blink of an eye, their comfortable lifestyle had vanished and become filled with fear, uncertainty and constant worries.  As a Baby Boomer you probably can relate to this scenario.  You played by the rules.  You were conservative with your budget.  You did what you thought you were supposed to do.  When the economy crashed and our long battle through a difficult recession began, our once sense of security vanished into thin air.

The future became unknown and the unknown oftentimes leaves you with a feeling of uneasiness.  Questions start being generated by your mind, “Will I be able to afford this lifestyle?” or “Will I outlive my retirement?”.  For all of your well planned intentions to control as much of your life as possible you are suddenly confronted by the reality that we never truly had control.

Worry doesn’t do anything about the problem.  Worry is an illusion of control to a situation that you do not possess control over.  We just don’t like feeling out of control.  The amazing truth is that the only thing that you can ever truly do is increase your probability of success.  There are not, nor have there ever been any guarantees (except the proverbial death and taxes).

For years Sid could sleep through an explosion. But now he would awaken during the night only to ponder their bank statements and imagine the unforeseen future.  Maggie began having regular headaches which her medical provider proposed were stress induced.  They needed to now how to reduce stress.  The once social butterflies had shifted into a more avoidant and stay at home pattern.  If you fall into this category you don’t have to feel alone.  Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition.  Nearly 40 million Americans have one of the anxiety disorder diagnoses (ADAA, NIMH).  The great thing about anxiety is that it is a treatable condition, yet only one-third of individuals who suffer from anxiety are receiving treatment.  Surprisingly, chronic anxiety and worry have some rather significant consequences which include; Cardiovascular issues, Neurological complications, Sleep problems, GI struggles and more.

At the suggestion of Maggie’s best friend the couple met with a healthcare provided who suggested a range of possibilities of how to relieve stress that have been proven to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.  The couple discovered that their avoidance strategy was the most common response to perceived stress.  Yes, it’s common but avoidance only provides short-term relief while never achieving long-term resolution.  Their provider suggested meeting with a financial planner and discussing the reality of their budget, age and goals.  They cut a few major expenses and forestalled a few spontaneous purchases.  Sid and Maggie then began a workout routine which combined both cardio/endurance and light weight training.  Sid found this to immediately help his sleeping patterns. Maggie began to prepare more heart healthy meals.  The couple found this to be a cost-effective way of managing part of their financial concerns.  She discovered that her unpleasant GI rumblings diminished.  Sid found that talking with a Psychologist was helpful since he needed to develop a new sense of identity and purpose.  Additionally, he found that focusing his energy on addressing his issues rather than avoiding them was a wise choice.  When his career ended his sense of self-worth and value seemed to vanish.  Sid joined the local chapter of a national service organization.  Maggie and her best friend began meeting weekly with several other friends in a book club.

As Baby Boomers, you can relate to what Maggie and Sid are going through.  It is most important to remember that avoiding any problem might remove you from the perceived stressor and anxiety but it never provides any long-term resolution.  Addressing your issues to the best of your ability is a shrewd investment of your energy.  Though there are no guarantees (except, you know) you can choose to either become overwhelmed by anxiety or take an active role in your life.  Be smart, address the stress, and be part of the solution.

Relieve Stress As We Age

Submitted by;

Dr. Harold Shinitzky

Co-Author: Take Control of Your Anxiety: A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life (Career Press, 2015)

Co-Author: Your Mind: An Owner’s Manual for a Better Life (Career Press, 2009)



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