The Stress of Aging
It is impossible to see into the future. And for most people, the stress of aging might prevent the desire to see past the age of sixty-five. While the future is always a question, never is it more so than in later life. There are so many unknowns: Will I be healthy? Will I be happy? Will I have enough money for retirement? Will I keep my wits about me? Will I be surrounded by people I love? And truthfully, no one can answer these questions. So, what do you do to keep the stress of aging from aging you prematurely?
According to medical professionals, there are few things in life that can do more damage to the human body than stress. It isn’t just a mental or emotional problem. It can cause physical symptoms to manifest and ultimately lead to extreme health problems and exacerbate any preexisting conditions. Stress can have a profound negative effect on heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few.
As is true with anything, actively trying not to think about something will just cause a person to think about it more. So, how do you stop stressing out about all the problems that could arise as you age? Doctors will tell you to practice relaxation techniques. Psychiatrists will tell you to talk it out. Bartenders will tell you to have another drink.
Ultimately, the only thing you can really do to stop the stress of aging is to stop aging. And no one wants that! But you can take a step back from it and try to approach each potential problem the way you would tell a child to think about the monsters under the bed. Turn on the lamp, open the closet door, and shine all the light you can on those scary beasts. And maybe by knowing what’s not there, you won’t worry about it as much until you have a reason.