Women’s stress levels go down as they head into their 50s and 60s

A new study offers great news for women entering middle age: There’s a good chance you’ll feel less stressed as you get older.

Researchers tracked women — aged 42 to 53 at the beginning of the study — for 15 years. They found that most women’s perceived levels of stress dropped significantly over that time period.

Even women with less education and more financial hardship experienced this decrease, and even menopause didn’t derail the progress.

The study didn’t measure the analyze the reasons for dropping stress levels,  but researchers say the change could come from circumstantial factors — children have moved out, careers are progressing, and health is still pretty good — and/or psychological factors — women have figured out how to better regulate emotions.

“Perhaps things just don’t bother us as much as we age, whether due to emotional experience or neurochemical changes. It’s all worth exploring,” the study’s lead author said.

It’s good to hear some scientific findings backing up the good things I’ve noticed about getting older. And for all you younger people out there: Look forward to your 50s and 60s. They’re a good place to be.

Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Mental Health Solutions, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. If you would like to discuss the information in this blog further with her, please call 208-918-0958. She sees adolescents and adults. Information in this blog is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider about decisions regarding your health.

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