Stress does not only affect work pressured people, mothers with families to raise and children at exam time. There are a lot of retired people who suffer from stress. Retirees are subject to a number of anxieties and cares. To know how to cope from stress we have to understand what it is.

Stress is an overloading of the brain. Too many demands, too many worries too much noise, too much too cope with on a daily basis. The brain can only cope with so much input from the outside world. Give it too much and it starts panicking. A good parallel of this is if you kept jabbing at the buttons on a computer or cell phone you will baffle the instrument – this, in human terms is stress.

Situations which will cause stress are – people constantly worrying you with problems; worrying about your children and grand children, economic and world concerns (common in older people), living costs, not enough rest, not enough peaceful relaxation and physical illness.

The symptoms of stress in retirees are irritability; bouts of weeping; feelings of not being able to cope; panic attacks (in which the person often thinks he/she is dying); Palpitations; aches and pains which seem disproportionately distressing. Stress is not the same as depression. However stress can lead to depression. Depression can be due to poor sleep, waking up early in the morning, lack of personal worth, suicidal thoughts feelings of tiredness and misery which will vary throughout the day.

Depression is very common in older folk. So if you are suffering from any of the above, have a chat to your doctor. How can you overcome stress?

Pills are a bit of a help – especially for those who suffer from anxiety. But ideally you need to look at what is causing the stress. Sit down with somebody sensible and work your way through the problem. What is the problem? How can we rectify them? Work out a plan of action and work your way through the problems step by step. Set yourself stages (targets). It is important to have somebody support you through your stages, somebody you can trust and rely on.

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