Senior Wellness: Stress less in retirement
Once we hit retirement, seas are calm for smooth sailing. After putting in years of hard work, wouldn’t we like that to be true? Unfortunately, stress free retirement is a myth that prevails among our society. The fact is every person experiences stress. Stress affects all shapes, sizes, and ages of people. Stress in our 30s and 40s may look vastly different than stress in our 60s and 70s, but the same toll is taken on the mind and body.
We each encounter daily stresses and our bodies react with the “Fight or Flight” response. As our defense system kicks in, heart rate and blood pressure increase, pupils dilate, muscles tense, and blood flow slows to non-essential systems such as digestion. All of these reactions help the body defend itself and remedy the situation, but are best suited for acute stress.
The issue arises when stress becomes an embedded part of daily life, causing our system to be on constant guard. For many, a career is a high stress inducer. Therefore, the belief is that entering into retirement will ease all stress. However, retirement and aging bring on a whole new set of stressors.
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