Stress and Ageing
September 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
Young people deal better with stress than their older counterparts according to Nancy Pachana of the University of Queensland, Australia. In elderly people under stress “there is more low-level anxiety and depression”. Research on rats found that when put in a stressful situation, after two weeks, older rats had much higher levels of the stress hormone, corticosterone than the younger rats. Also, they showed increased activity in the area of the brain associated with anxiety. This may well be due to the NLP anchoring effect. Anchoring, happens when the unconscious mind is exposed to a highly emotional state, extreme happiness, sadness or stress for instance. At that point, the unconscious mind searches the fice senses for the trigger for this particular emotion and neurologically links it to that trigger. It is then primed for the next time. Essentially we get better at doing the emotional state. That’s great in an evolutionary sense if the sight of a tiger will produce an excellent fight or flight response, but not so good in our daily lives in the office.
Having nurtured this ability to produce a highly tuned stress response over the years, Hirotka Shoji of the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Obu, Japan suggests that the brains ability to damp down the release of corticosterone is reduced with age.
Dylan Evans in his book “Placebo” highlights the research on baboons which shows that those males at the bottom of the social hierarchy have thickened blood and exhibit behaviours which look very similar to depression. One theory is that this is a prolonged acute phase response to being constantly kicked and scratched. The continual activation of this acute phase response then becomes a way of life. This may explain why humans who are under constant stress may also be in a constant state of acute phase response with the attendant symptoms of sickness behaviour (depression) and thickened blood. Could this be the reason why people suffering from stress and depression are far more likely to die of a heart attack?
The importance of decreasing the stress response in our lives must be our mission. If you are still young, to avoid setting up patterns of behaviour and if you are old because you have a reduced ability to deal with it.
For more information about ways to deal with stress –