Written by: Angela Warburton, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Discover the nuanced world of stress in midlife, where distinguishing between good and bad stress becomes essential for well-being. While excessive stress can detrimentally affect health, not all stress is harmful. Learn to embrace good stress, the kind that builds resilience and contributes to overall well-being. Good stress arises from reaching for dreams, learning, and exploring new possibilities, fostering a sense of empowerment. In contrast, detrimental stress, often associated with chronic challenges, requires reduction and limitation. At midlife, stress takes on a unique significance, becoming a powerful tool for clarity and transformation. It serves as a guide, signaling areas that need attention and prompting the shedding of what no longer serves. Embracing good stress becomes a means of clarifying priorities and moving towards authentic dreams. As you navigate stress wisely, it becomes a catalyst for letting go of what isn't working, creating space for a more fulfilling and aligned life. Understand the impact of stress on hormones, particularly during midlife, where hormonal balance is crucial. Explore the top three strategies to navigate stress, including media detox, embracing desires, and carving out time for solitude. Cultivate curiosity and courage as stress-busting allies, allowing midlife to be a time of wise navigation and fulfillment.
Understanding the surge of stress: Good vs. Bad
Everywhere we look, life tells us to get less stressed, and rightfully so. Stress can have significant impacts on our health.
However, not all stress is detrimental. There's a kind of stress that we should actually embrace the kind that builds resilience and contributes to our overall well-being. This is good stress, and our bodies are designed to thrive on it.
The unwanted stress, the ongoing and detrimental kind, is the one most people can easily list off: too much to do, not enough time, work pressures, relationship challenges, and the constant stream of worrying news. This kind of stress needs reduction and limitation wherever possible
The life-giving stress: Stretching for your dreams
On the other hand, good stress comes from reaching for our dreams. It arises when we tackle something new, scary, or intimidating, emerging on the other side wiser, elated, and empowered.
It comes from learning, trying new things, and moving our bodies in ways that stretch both our minds and muscles.
This kind of stress is critical for midlife women to pay attention to. This is beneficial stress.
Negative or unhealthy stress is a major cause of hormonal imbalance, leading to symptoms commonly associated with menopause. On the contrary, healthy stress is what midlife women can harness to propel them into a more fulfilling and aligned life.
The impact of stress on hormones
Chronic unproductive stress increases our need for cortisol, the stress and survival hormone. To produce cortisol, the body converts much-needed estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, leaving women in a state of hormonal imbalance.
This imbalance manifests as exhaustion, burnout, depression, and various unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause.
In midlife, swapping bad stress for good stress is essential. Midlife is a call to a different life, a time to channel earned experience, wisdom, and self-knowing into something meaningful. It's an opportunity to step into dreams and make shifts aligned with one's values.
Top 3 strategies to navigate stress for happy hormones
1. Media detox
Turn off news and social media that drain, depress, or deplete you.
Plug the internal energy leaks and protect your emotional well-being.
2. Embrace your desires
Allow yourself to want what you want.
Midlife calls for shedding what doesn't work and birthing an authentic life.
Listen to the whispers of your soul and dare to dream.
3. Time for solitude
Carve out more time alone in environments that nurture you.
Spend time in nature, in your personal space, or at calming places like a park or art gallery.
Listen to what demands your attention, decrease unhelpful stress, and calm your nervous system.
Curiosity and courage: Your stress-busting allies
Get curious about the stress draining you and take small actions to shift it. Let go of what you can't control, turn off the news, and cancel plans if needed. Allow yourself to dream, and have the courage to stretch into stress that propels you toward your dreams. Midlife is your time to navigate stress wisely, embracing the good while minimizing the bad for a more fulfilling life.
Here are some other links to help you reduce the bad kind of stress and increase the good.
Angela Warburton, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Angela, a seasoned holistic women's midlife expert, brings over 25 years of experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine. As a skilled speaker, writer, leader, and teacher, Angela is passionate about transforming women's experiences of midlife and menopause.
Her unique skill set, including Eastern Medicine, Transformational Coaching, Modern Health Sciences, Women's Leadership, Applied Mindfulness, and Sacred Womb Work, guides women to deepen their self-understanding during this transformative phase.
She seamlessly blends the science of modern health practices with the soulful touch of holistic approaches, creating an integration that is seamless and effective.
With a mission to simplify the process, Angela strives for ease and inclusivity, helping women achieve long-term transformational change while feeling healthy, seen, and nourished in the process. Holistic and customized care, infused with deep compassion, humour, and joy, Angela's work becomes a true pleasure for her clients.
Ready to redefine your menopause experience? Angela is your dedicated companion on the path to a vibrant and radiant life.