Our Healthy Aging Month newsletter series is focused on empowering older adults by promoting ways they can stay healthy as they age. The series will consist of four articles, which will be released once a week throughout the month of September. Each article will cover different aspects of healthy aging, offering helpful tips and information to encourage readers to prioritize their wellness and wellbeing.
How Stress Affects Aging
September 11, 2023
Stress often feels like an inevitable part of life. As we grow older, all of those adult responsibilities can take a toll on our mental health. However, it’s imperative to find ways to healthily manage stress because it can have very real impacts on how we age and how healthy we are as a whole.
The most obvious toll that stress can have on our aging is the impact that it can have on our mental health. Unmanaged stress can lead to issues like depression and anxiety, which can impact the way that we perceive and experience the aging process and even reduce our quality of life in the process. Stress can also have a very real impact on our cognitive functions, with some studies suggesting that higher levels of stress were linked to issues with memory and focus in older adults. 
Stress can also negatively impact our physical health. Stress contributes to inflammation, a natural immune system process that can contribute to a wide range of health issues. It can also hurt our immune system as a whole, making us more vulnerable to infections and illnesses. In fact, a recent study found that higher levels of stress were linked to accelerated imaging of the immune system and an increased risk for poor health. On the bright side, the same study also found that healthy lifestyle factors can help here. 
Because stress can have so many huge and negative impacts on our well-being and our health, it’s important to find ways to manage it especially as we grow older. Some tips for managing stress as you age:
- Make time to be with your friends, family, and loved ones. Join a group to stay social.
- Exercise often, whatever that looks like to you. Taking regular walks can do a world of wonders for your stress management and your mood.
- Eat a healthy diet to give your body the nutritional tools it needs to better manage stress. Even better, take supplements like Vitality C when necessary to better support your immune system as you age.
- Engage in hobbies and activities you enjoy.
- Try relaxation practices like meditation or yoga.