Response to daily stressors could affect brain health in older adults

on 22 November 2018
Hypnosis helps you look younger, live longer

Do you want to look younger, feel healthier and live longer? Sounds too good to be true doesn't it but it isn't, it's actually very attainable and the younger you start, the more effective it is, but what is it . . . 

Relaxation, the secret to a more productive life!

Scientists offer proof that having a laid-back attitude to life’s daily stressors improves your chances of seeing your grandchildren graduate. And, if you learn this when you’re younger, maybe even you’ll get to enjoy your great-grandchildren for quite a few years too!

While chronic stress does not directly cause major illness and disease, it most certainly contributes to it. Much of that is a consequence of the way it alters many of our body’s functions. For example, it alters/dampens our digestive system, impairs our immune system, makes our heart work much harder and reduces blood flow to our skin, which can lead to many types of skin conditions and also alters blood flow to the brain.  It is the alteration in neural blood flow that can greatly affect our sense of wellbeing and raise our awareness of anxious feelings. It also impairs the way in which our prefrontal cortex works and this part of the brain is crucial in processing most of our executive functions, as well as maintaining order in our fear/threat detection system. In short, it allows us to see trouble where none exists, it makes us hypersensitive to false signals (sensory stimulus) and allows our brain to run amok with concerns that are not, for the most part; reality.

At this point, you may be taking a deep breath and a gulp and that is the very best thing you can do because out of deeper states of breathing, comes the calm. Deep diaphragmatic breathing (assuming the fear signals are false), ultimately takes us into the relaxation response, the antithesis of the stress response! The state referred to as "laidback," in this research, is the result of our brain, being in a state of relative relaxation. By relative relaxation, I mean relative to what state you are in at any point in time. Obviously, if you are working or exercising, the state of relaxation you will be in will be different than if you were sitting, laying down or sleeping, meditating or in hypnosis.

Allowing yourself to focus on your inner states of mind, will also allow you to induce specific states of relaxation during the various stages of each day. In that context, it can be useful to think of relaxation and stress (fight or flight) at the cellular level because positive stress (eustress) is well catered for within the cellular systems. However, its chronic counterpart, distress, damages cells in many ways, ways that will not only age you faster but also put you at risk for the development of major illness and disease. Cells have a self-destructive (suicidal) capacity, called apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death, while this is a normal process that occurs daily, it is more deleterious to our overall health if it occurs as a consequence of chronic stress (distress). So, if you want to live longer, look younger, be healthier, why not get with the programme - The Trans4mational Therapy Stress Management Programme!

One of the most effective ways to cultivate the habit of relaxation is through hypnosis. Hypnosis is an integral part of the body’s natural balancing systems. It works best when we are in the deeper states of theta brainwave activity, that’s where we do our dreaming, memory consolidation/reconsolidation and healing. In some sense hypnosis allows us to effectively communicate with our brain in ways that are very difficult to achieve through any other medium. So, if you want to be calmer, better focused than ever before; get with the programme! The greatest thing about hypnosis is, you don't have to wait until you go to bed at night to enter these naturally healing states of mind. You can do it whenever you have a few minutes to close your eyes and open your mind, because relaxation is, a state of mind!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better,  then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life!

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here Or, to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here

The Research: 

Taking typical daily annoyances such as a long wait at the doctor's office or a traffic jam on the freeway in stride may help preserve brain health in older adults, while emotional reactions could contribute to declines in cognition, a new study from Oregon State University has found.

"These results confirm that people's daily emotions and how they respond to their stressors play an important role in cognitive health," said Robert Stawski, an associate professor in OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the study's lead author. "It's not the stressor itself that contributes to mental declines but how a person responds that affects the brain."

The findings contribute to a growing body of research that focused on daily stress as a risk factor for compromised mental, physical and cognitive health. The findings have vital real-world applications, given that the world's fastest-growing age group is adults 80 and over, said Stawski, who studies how stressful experiences influence health, well-being and cognition.

Brain health and cognition are important as we age. They contribute to one's ability to function in day-to-day life and can reflect diseases including dementia and Alzheimer's. The findings were recently published online in Psychosomatic Medicine, the journal of the American Psychosomatic Society. Co-authors include OSU students Eric Cerino and Dakota Witzel, and Stuart W.S. MacDonald of the University of Victoria.

For the study, researchers followed 111 older adults, ranging in age from 65 to 95, for 2½ years. Every six months, they participated in a series of cognitive assessments for six days over a two-week period.

During the assessments, participants looked at a series of two strings of numbers and were asked whether the same numbers appeared in the two strings, regardless of order. Past studies have linked fluctuations in how quickly people can do this exercise with decreased mental focus, cognitive ageing and risk for dementia as well as structural and functional brain changes that reflect poor cognitive health. Each participant completed the numbers exercises for up to 30 sessions over the 2½-year period.

The participants also were asked about stressors experienced that day by themselves, a family member or a close friend; rated how they felt right at that moment, choosing from an array of positive and negative emotions and a range of intensity; and filled out a checklist of physical symptoms. In the overall comparison, those who responded to stressful events with more negative emotions and reported a more dour mood, in general, showed greater fluctuations in their performance, which suggests worse mental focus and cognitive health among the more strongly negative and reactive people.

But by following each person over time, the scientists also could track what happened on an individual basis, and striking age differences emerged. For the oldest participants -- late 70s to mid-90s -- being more reactive to stressors than usual also contributed to worse cognitive performance.

In contrast, people in their late 60s to mid-70s actually did better on the test if they reported more stressors. "These relatively younger participants may have a more active lifestyle to begin with, more social and professional engagement, which could sharpen their mental functioning," Stawski said.

Older adults should be aware of their emotional reactions to stressful events and explore stress-lowering strategies, if needed, to preserve brain health and cognitive function, he said.

"We can't get rid of daily stressors completely," Stawski said. "But endowing people with the skills to weather stressors when they happen could pay dividends in cognitive health."

The research was supported by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Robert S. Stawski, Eric S. Cerino, Dakota D. Witzel, Stuart W.S. MacDonald. Daily Stress Processes as Contributors to and Targets for Promoting Cognitive Health in Later Life. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000643

Cite this page:

Oregon State University. "Response to daily stressors could affect brain health in older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2018. <>.