Adults over 75 could benefit from a less stressful daily life.
New research is confirming what we already know: don’t get your back up. When it comes to problems, it’s better to take it easy than to get all worked up.
Researchers from Oregon State University have found that taking daily annoyances in stride can help to preserve your brain health, if you’re over 75.
“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 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.”
During the study, researchers followed 111 older adults, ranging in age from 65 to 95, for 2½ years.
The participants completed a series of cognitive assessments for 6 days, every six months. They were asked about daily stressors and to rate how they felt about them. They also completed cognitive tasks that assessed for dementia risk.
It was found that people in their late 60s to mid-70s did better on the test if they actually reported more stressors in their daily life.
For the oldest participants aged mid-70s to mid-90s however, this contributed to worsening cognitive function.
“These relatively younger participants may have a more active lifestyle to begin with… which could sharpen their mental functioning,” Stawski said.
For those in the older bracket though, it could be different.
“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.”
For more on the study, click here.