For Parents: Is Stress Making You Feel Old and Tired?

By Kathleen Boucher

Are you swamped with stress? Does corporate management keep raising the amount you need to sell each year? Is there not enough money at the end of the month? Are you worried about your children’s university tuition? Has your belt gotten tighter or your waist line expanded? Do you look in the mirror and wonder when you started looking old and tired.

Stress is part of life. It can you help you reach your goals or make you sick when it overwhelms you. Researchers discovered that it all depends on how satisfied you are. You may be in stressful situations but when you derive a lot of satisfaction from them you don’t age as quickly. It is when you are in stressful situations and you are not satisfied then you begin to look and feel old. Here is an example.

Fred, age 46, decided to resign from his “government job to work with a group of missionaries helping to feed starving children in Africa. He said that the transition was bound to be very stressful but that short of a heart attack or serious illness, it would be “stress well spent.”¹ Six months later he was back in North America and tested younger than before he left! Why? He was doing something that he loved and using stress well.

Not everyone can leave their home, children and responsibilities to help starving children in Africa. The question is, “What 2 small steps can you take starting today that will help you manage your stress energy?”

Here are a few tips:

  1. Recognize some of the signs and symptoms of stress.
  • Are you always tired?
  • Do you sleep poorly at night?
  • Do you have difficulty concentrating
  • Do you have poor habits with personal care?
  • Others?
  1. Ask yourself, “What will motivate me to make a change in my current situation? Hint: Pain and discomfort is a strong motivator. Be aware that changing habits is not easy. However, it is not impossible. Begin with the next step.
  2. Start with drawing a self-portrait of what a healthy you looks like. This is different for each person. You are not aiming for perfection. You are drawing you being very satisfied with your life.
  3. Meditate on and visualize your healthy self-portrait everyday.
  4. Affirm positive statements throughout the day. For example: If you are trying to lose weight; state, “I am lean and sexy.”
  5. Journal your progress. Solicit the support of two or more like-minded people to help you stay motivated and accountable.
  6. Savor your successes. Share and celebrate them.

The goal is to live life filled with so many satisfiers that you get a high rate of return managing stress.


  1. Reduce Your Body Age, by Richard Earle, Ph.D., David Emrie, M.D. with Rick Archbold page 18 This book is part of a course given by the Canadian Institute of Stress.
  2. Credit goes to maria-victoria-heredia-reyes-20883.jpg  at for the article image





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