According to a report from the University of California at San Francisco, extra cortisol over the years can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that's crucial for storing and retrieving memories.
Several studies have found that high cortisol goes hand in hand with poor memory, so we might be able to chalk up certain "senior moments" to stress. Years of emotional distress may even increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. A five-year study of nearly priests and nuns published in the journal Neurology highlighted this potential hazard.
The subjects who reported the most stress were twice as likely as the least-stressed subjects to develop the disease. Stress doesn't just make a person feel older. In a very real sense, it can speed up aging. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that stress can add years to the age of individual immune system cells. The study focused on telomeres, caps on the end of chromosomes.
Whenever a cell divides, the telomeres in that cell get a little shorter and a little more time runs off the clock. When the telomere becomes too short, time runs out: The cell can no longer divide or replenish itself. This is a key process of aging, and it's one of the reasons humans can't live forever. Researchers checked both the telomeres and the stress levels of 58 healthy premenopausal women. On average, the immune system cells of highly stressed women had aged by an extra 10 years.
The study didn't explain how stress adds years to cells making up the immune system. As the study authors write, "the exact mechanisms that connect the mind to the cell are unknown. Stress hormones could be somehow shortening telomeres and cutting the life span of cells. The good news is that we can put what we know about stress and aging to work for us. Learn to manage and reduce your stress load and you have a better chance to live a long, healthy life. Maintaining a positive outlook is one key -- a study by Yale University found that people who feel good about themselves as they get older live about seven and a half years longer than "glass half empty" types.
Researchers say the people with more positive attitudes may also deal with stress better and have a stronger will to live. Staying close to friends and family is an excellent way to cut down on stress.
As reported by the American Psychological Association, social support can help prevent stress and stress-related diseases. The benefits of friends and family can be especially striking for seniors. An article published in the American Journal of Health Promotion notes that social support can slow down the flow of stress hormones in seniors and, not coincidentally, increase longevity.
Other studies have found that social interactions can help older people stay mentally sharp and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Exercise, a proven stress-buster for people of all ages, may be especially valuable in later years. Regular walks, bike rides, or water aerobics can do more than keep a person strong and independent; exercise can actually help block the effects of aging on cortisol levels.
A recent study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology found that physically fit women in their mids had essentially the same response to stress as a group of unfit women in their late 20s. In contrast, women in their mids who weren't physically fit released much larger amounts of cortisol in response to stress. In the end, anything that reduces unnecessary stress will make the later years more enjoyable. Some people simply need to stop trying to do too many things at once.
Others may want to try breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques. Still others may need to talk to a psychologist to find a new perspective on their lives. Whatever the approach, fighting stress overload is worth the effort.
The American Psychological Association reports that reducing stress in later years can help prevent disabilities and trips to the hospital. And if people end up feeling younger, healthier, and happier, that's OK, too.
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. Henry Holt and Company, New York. And it is this diminishing sense of importance— whatever is the reason—that plays havoc with the lives of the elderly. Because if we analyse it, as long as one is valued and feels wanted, no problem appears too difficult to grapple with. When one enters the final stage of life called old age, there lurks a terrible feeling of redundancy in every corner of that stage.
This begins right from the time when one must retire from productive service at a not-so-old age, and one the next generation grows up, moves away, and emerges from gestation.
There is, no doubt, a sadness mixed with regret in handing over the baton, the keys, the chair, whatever, to the next in line, but it is also a sadness mixed with pride in watching a worthy successor take over, knowing that the show will go on. It is not this that hurts but the fact that from now on the world views one in the same way as it does an ageing horse put out to graze.
It is unfortunate but whenever we think of old age, what automatically come to mind are visions of lonliness and neglect. And if add to these failing health and illness, the picture takes on darker hues of helpless despair. Although it is true that no stage of life is ever smooth sailing and every stage has its own attendant problems, those of old age seem insurmountable because the physical ability and mental resilience to cope with adverse situations are vastly reduced.
And to top it all, if there is no one around even remotely interested in whether the problem at hand merits a solution, the fight becomes much harder. Whether or not one marries, has, children, lives in a family— one lives amongst people. But after years of it, one suddenly faces days of isolation and little to do. Now solitude may be a good place to visit but it is not such a good place to stay in. Although no one is an island, modern society, more often than not, forces the old person to live like one, and although Simon and Garfunkel tell us that islands never cry, human islands do.
Sometimes one is not quite so lucky and then the days are longer and emptier. When journeying through life, one has to make endless adjustments with many unexpected, perplexing and difficult situations. In childhood and youth, one has other adults around to guide the way. As adults, the feeling that one is in charge helps in tackling such situations.
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Below is an essay on "Coping with Old Age" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples. Coping with Old Age I recently read about an area of the former Soviet Union where many people live to be well over a hundred years old/5(1).
“Coping with Old Age” has no indentations starting new paragraphs. Read this essay carefully, and then double-underline the thesis and single-underline the topic sentence for each of the three supporting paragraphs and the first sentence of the conclusion. Narrative Essay: The Battle of Old Age I have recently read about an area of the former Soviet Union where many people live to be well over a hundred years. Being or even isn’t considered unusual there, and these old people continue to do productive work right until they die. Moreover, I’m trying to cope with mental changes. My.
Perceiving old age with fear is actually a rather [ ] Navigation. Essay on the Problems of Old Age. Article shared by. Essay ; Words Essay on the Problems of Old Age ; Essay on Problems of Aged ; Sports sans Sportsmanship – Essay. Essay on Development and Population Control. To understand emotion in adulthood and old age, the relationship between age and emotion has to be explored as well as self-esteem, stress and coping over an adult life span, and biological aspect of the brain to know how one's well-being will be affected.