The Benefit Of Being Active

An interesting hobby or taking part in a sporting activity not only benefits the body and mind, but also is a great opportunity to interact with other people and make new friends.   Sport can be therapeutic it reduces tension, makes you sleep better and releases pent up emotions and it provides the opportunity for social contact, which can goes a long way to lifting the spirit.   Participating in an activity with a friend is doubly enjoyable as it helps keep a focus and provides encouragement, one to another.    Playing sport has the advantage of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and therefore, physical independence into older age.   Although all activity is beneficial, not all will improve body strength, stamina or suppleness to the same degree.

Take a look at the following list of popular sports which are accompanied by stars varying from * one star to *** three stars.   These indicate the specific physical benefit of each activity.   Use them to find an activity which suits your individual fitness requirements.   Some of you will want more strength, many to build up stamina or others to become suppler.   Whichever sport or exercise you choose make sure it’s one you really enjoy doing and make a habit of doing it.   If you are with people you like and you do have fun; the chances are you’ll stick to doing it.


Strength                      **

Stamina                       **

Suppleness                  *


Strength                      ***

Stamina                       ***

Suppleness                  **


Strength                      ***

Stamina                       ***

Suppleness                  ***


Strength                      ***

Stamina                       ***

Suppleness                  **


Stamina                       ***

Strength                      ***

Suppleness                  ***


Stamina                       ***

Strength                      ***

Suppleness                  ***


Strength                      ***

Stamina                       ***

Suppleness                  ***


Strength                      **

Stamina                       **

Suppleness                  *


Strength                      ***

Stamina                       ***

Suppleness                  **


Strength                      ***

Stamina                       ***

Suppleness                  ***


A personal trainer can encourage you to look after your body and motivate you to be more active in the privacy of your own home on a one to one basis.   The National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) has over 1,000 teachers on their list and refers enquiries to fully qualified and insured Personal Fitness Trainers throughout the country.   After an initial assessment a plan of action is drawn up and varies greatly from person to person.  Depending on physique, ability, and personal requirements.   The advantage of having a personal trainer is the total flexibility; they will fit into your timetable and come to your home.   You can have the programme tailored to your level of fitness and physical abilities, go at your own pace, and under supervision you can confidently build up your level of fitness.  Once you have reached a suitable level of fitness you can consider taking up an activity which you enjoy on a regular basis, and why not encourage your friends to join you!

For further information on activities contact your local Sports Centre


Stretching out your body is a great way of fighting stress and relaxing your body.   As a bonus it will also improve your posture, stretch out your muscles and keep your joints supple.    Stretching also keeps you looking and feeling slimmer and younger and helps to reduce many aches and pains.   The best time to stretch is when your muscles are warm.   I find that first thing in the morning or last thing at night are the most convenient times for me, but many of my friend’s do their stretching when they are relaxed after a warm bath.    Learn to stretch out and relax for15 minutes or so 3 or 4 times a week you will find it most beneficial.

Many people make the mistake of holding their breath when they stretch or do exercise, but it is important to breathe normally during this time and to relax.   For the stretches to be effective hold them for 4 – 8 seconds but do not “bounce” them.   Learn to stretch out carefully and slowly taking the stretches to a comfortable limit, but don’t strain.   Start gradually and you will soon find that after a few weeks you are able to extend and stretch that little bit further.  Some stiffness the next day could be a good thing, indicating that your body is loosening its stored up tension.

Faith & Comfort

“Life is mostly froth and bubble,

Two things stand like stone

Kindness in another’s trouble

Courage in your own.”

Ye Wearie Wayfarer – Adam Linsay Gordon 1833 – 1870

At some stage in their life most people find themselves questioning their reason for existence, and many will have searched for years for an answer to the mystery of life.   By exploring the religions of the world throughout their life some will have found what they were seeking for and can finally take comfort and guidance from their religion.  Others discover their inner self along the way, and their faith gives them the courage they need to face life’s many difficulties.   Church, Synagogue, Temple, Mosque and religious meeting places of all religions and faiths, are venues not only for spiritual guidance, but also valuable sources of friendship, companionship and support, especially for those people who find themselves alone in the world.

Loneliness and isolation can be a real problem within the 60+ age group. It is a particular difficult time for women when they lose their partners and friends after many years, as it can be for single women also who find themselves retired from the routine and company of years of regular work.  Many find they face hours of solitude and are very lonely.   Some are nervous to go out of the safety of their familiar environment, and many older women say they feel threatened.    Women who have been married or lived with one partner for many years do know how to communicate, and they want to communicate within their own age group, but find a problem.    They dislike being on their own, are out of the habit of making new acquaintances, and in many cases have lost their confidence and social skills, and this makes them feel increasing alone.  Cosy couples, who still have each other for company after many years of togetherness, don’t appreciate the isolation felt by family, friends or acquaintances who suddenly find themselves alone without their long time partner.   That is of course, until it happens to them.

The 50 plus group is fast becoming a group to be reckoned with both socially, economically and socially.   As a group we are increasing rapidly.   Our group members are healthier, more active and involved in society than previous generations, and we have a disposable income estimated at £155 billion pounds a year. Far from sitting down taking life easy, women (and men) in our group are likely to be on the move.  Many are off to seek adventures abroad; others are going back to university to improve their education, whilst others are contemplating setting up a new business venture.   It’s time to make an effort.   An active participation in life is an important component of successful ageing as is a strong social support network.   Studies suggest socialising with people and doing something productive helps create a sense of wellbeing.

It’s a time to maintain connections with the family and close supportive friends who can encourage (or be encouraged) to participate in activities, intellectual pursuits, hobbies, financial planning, eating and drinking all important factors in healthy ageing.   Staying mentally active as well as physically active is essential if we are to enjoy the extra special years. It’s an opportunity to develop or embark on new jobs or to enrol in day or evening classes.   Who knows, as a result of a continuing interest in life and learning you may discover new and as yet unused gifts and talents!

Adult Education

Education at any age is important and all kinds of learning are stimulating. Whether it’s through formal education or informal programmes learning can prolong active life and promote a confidence and belief in your abilities to handle the demands of later life. Life is a series of challenges and from these challenges we learn. It’s never too late to learn and age should be a barrier to learning. When we improve our talents, develop our skills and learn to communicate, we have more to contribute to life. Through education and by opening up our minds to new ideas we have the opportunity to continue growing within ourselves despite the restrictions that life imposes on us. With the advance in technology this has never been truer. Even for frail people, physically or mentally disabled confined to the house or chair, it is still possible to access information and improve knowledge and understanding. Today information can be accessed not only through books, but also through computers, videos and TV. For many older adults didn’t have the opportunity of learning the basic 3 R’s in their youth due to social and economic limitations this could be the time of life to indulge in re-education. Today there is so much scope and so many facilities for learning – whatever one’s interests or capabilities may be. This could be the perfect moment, the one you have been waiting for – so why not take the plunge and try learning something new.

An obvious way to find out about adult education is to contact your Local Education Authority and look at the list of classes they run in your area and they cater for every need. Their number will be in your local phone book. Or you could contact them through the Learning Direct helpline, which is run by the Department for Education and Employment. Take the opportunity to check out the range of courses and if you want to keep up with the crowd, and the rapid advances in technology, take note of the computing courses in particular. Whether you like them or not computers are here to stay so I advise you to get conversant with them. From my own observations there is nothing to guarantee alienation by the young from the old faster – than disinterest or incompetence when it comes to using a computer.

When it comes to computing the generation gap has never been so obvious and computing skills are a must if we are to keep in step with progress. If you can tackle the technology and learn to email them your credibility with young people, particularly your grandchildren will soar sky high. Most silver surfers admit to being scared of computers and all the modern technology that goes with them at the beginning, but once they learn to overcome their nervousness and become conversant with the technology, a whole New World opens up. The over 50’s have become the fastest growing group using the Internet. There are web services, home pages cropping up daily and hundreds of web sites, with news, information, advice on savings and health and much, much more aimed specifically at the 50+ age group. People with new found time on their hands, can research, shop or contact people anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night. It’s so easy for families once they learn how to get online, to keep in touch wherever they are in the world, and with scanning facilities and camera and videos that are compatible with the computer there’s no excuse for losing touch with loved ones.

Increasingly mature people, me included, use the Internet for booking holidays and travel. It’s so convenient to go on the net at any time of the day or night, to work out routes from timetables, and book and pay for, planes, buses or trains at reduced online prices. Internet chat rooms are easy to use and can provide interest and excitement for everyone. The technology is easy once you get the hang of it and enables you to talk to anyone, anywhere and at any time disregarding time zones. A whole new world opens up when you talk to strangers and share interests and experiences. Who knows – it is the start of a wonderful friendship.

While many silver surfers fear the cost of the net will increase their telephone bill, the fact is that in the end it’s a lot cheaper than conventional telephone calls often made at expensive times in order to accommodate the restrictions of world wide time zones. Buying books, videos and CD’s online is inexpensive and efficient. Titles that proves difficult to source and take forever to order in high street shops, can be searched for, located, ordered and paid for immediately online. Most arrive within a day or so. The Internet can make a hug difference to the quality of life for people who live alone. It becomes like a companion, it can enhance their lives and is a gateway to another, exciting and easily accessed world. More than four million people in the UK over 50 years of age now own a computer and use it to regularly surf the net and keep in touch with family and friends.

The “grey market” is one of the most lucrative branches of the travel industry with the 50+ travellers spreading their wings to discover the world. Many have families, who have already grown and flown the nest. With time, money, health and opportunity and wanderlust mature folk are off to increasingly far flung venues to enjoy the fruits of their hard-earned labours. Many have already “done” Europe – Spain, Portugal and the Canaries on package holidays with the children and now set their sights further afield whilst they have the opportunity and health. America, Australia, Canada, Thailand and China are favourite venues for the more adventurous many of whom take the opportunity to visit and holiday with friends and relations with whom they regally keep in touch by email.

If you are not into computers and modern technology is not for you, mental activity can positively influence brain activity and sharpen skills. Make the crossword, or a challenging book, or perhaps a game of chess or bridge your daily brain exercise. Why not write your autobiography – even if it is never published your family will have a rich insight into both your own and their family background and local history. Maybe enrolling for an adult education course could finally give you the chance to pursue an elusive hobby that you pushed to one side during your hectic working years, or it might even be your entry into the world of technology that you have resisted until now! Recently I made time to return to painting in oils, and I feel intense excitement and satisfaction as I create colourful pictures and patterns. Able to at last fulfil my frustrated creative urge makes up for all those frenetic, but fallow years when I didn’t have time to paint. It feels great to at last have found time to explore my new horizons. My painting class is not only an artistic opportunity but a social one too; it affords me the time to enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow artistes. It’s an experience I can thoroughly recommend.

NIACE the National Organisation for Adult Learning represents the interests of everyone concerned with adult learning. It aims to develop better learning opportunities for older adults aged 50+ to redress their current low levels of participation in education and training. NIACE organises a programme and produces a newsletter called Older and Bolder, which concentrates, on promoting education in later life. They aim to influence Government and policy in all areas and want to ensure that facilities are available for the 50+ group throughout the country. Older members of the community are encouraged to participate in order to determine and express their own learning needs, which can vary greatly. NIACE even make awards to institutes for good practise and presents awards to individuals who have achieved, in the form of Senior Learner of the Year. NIACE are conscious of the requirement for older adults and of their need to keep up with the technical world of computers if they are not to be disadvantaged.

The Open University has a vast and varied range of courses. It is one of the top universities in the UK for the quality of its teaching. Its unique studying methods mean that you study in your own time with the support of a personal tutor, regular assessments and comments on your progress and top quality teaching materials. Many students take a single certificate course; others work for an OU diploma or degree then go on to postgraduate study. The flexibility of the OU study lets you choose where and when you study, even if you change jobs, house or even country. The courses are demanding and you will need strong personal motivation, but you will be given help every step of the way. You can choose for yourself how much time you give in order to succeed in your chosen studies. Open University study is more flexible than conventional study, and there is no limit on how long it takes for you to successfully complete your studies. Fees vary are given in course descriptions. If a course has compulsory residential school the full cost of tuition, board and accommodation at the school is included in the fee.

The University Of The Third Age (U3A) is not a University but for a small fee will put you in touch with their network of learning throughout the UK

Worker’s Educational Association (WEA) is a national charity and the largest voluntary provider of adult education in the UK. It is organised into 13 districts in the UK which with its Scottish Association organises courses for adults in 650 WEA branches in towns and villages nation-wide. Some areas target adults by providing discussion groups and classes during the daytime when elderly people feel happier to venture out The WEA exists primarily to provide adults with access to experience of organised learning which develops intellectual understanding, confidence and social and collective responsibility. Its approach to learning opportunities for adults includes making use of life experience and can involve students planning their own learning. It also targets students who did not benefit from the educational system when they were younger and collaborates with other organisations to facilitate high quality learning opportunities. It has a full fee structure and concessionary fees for retired people. Courses held in WEA Distinct branches are many and varied and can help develop new skill, extend learning or explore a new interest. The WEA is sensitive to the educational requirements of local people, due to the fact that its many branches are controlled by a committee of volunteers from its local student members. Many areas organise classes in sheltered accommodation which are proving a success with the residents – some as old as 103.


I suppose the aspect of ageing that makes a big impact on many of our lives as we get older, is the fear of not being able to continue working and making money any more. For many it’s a depressing thought, the realisation that you’ve had your chance in life, you have got as far as your talents and opportunities would allow, and from now onwards its downhill all the way. The official end of our working life has an enormous impact on daily living, attitude of mind and self worth. Retirement marking this end, whether voluntary or involuntary, can cause some people despair, frustration, and panic at the thought of a future without structure and reward for efforts. Others regard their release from the constraints of the job as an exciting challenge, and can’t wait to put their new-found freedom to work for them. At the time of writing the age of retirement stands at 60 years for women, and 65 years for men, but this is in the process of changing and will become 65 years of age for women too – bringing them into line with men.

The time in our lives when we pick up our Bus Pass and claim Pensioners discount is a landmark for which most of us have subconsciously programmed ourselves over many years. Wryly we had referred to it in the past, as the far distant time in the future, when we would be “old”. But there are those people, including myself who cannot easily come to terms with the traditional concept of age since we don’t feel old enough to be regarded by the rest of the world as “old” at the age of 60. Many older people view retirement with a sense of relief, relishing the fact that at last they have time for themselves. With regular employment finally behind them, the lucky ones will have the cushion of an occupational pension, the just rewards of 40 or so years of hard work, to look forward to. This money will enable them, in theory at least, to have a comfortable retirement, free from financial worries. Some, who previously all those years ago took out an insurance policy, can relax into retirement looking forward to their policy paying out, whilst others will have a private pension scheme that they have contributed to over many years, to boost their finances.

These fortunate older adults sensibly planned their retirement when they were younger and in a position to put away a percentage of their earnings in preparation for their old age. If life continues according to plan they will always have disposable income, enabling them to have a contented retirement in which to indulge their fancies. These sections of the retired and ageing population are well provided for, and they are optimistic about their future. For some if they qualify, there is the State pension to look forward to which pays out varying amounts according to the individual’s circumstances. A great many older people in the community try (with great difficulty) to exist on just that, plus a little or no savings. This low income can cause hardship and distress, and all too often it is women who find themselves the pension victims.


However, as we are all too aware, the goal posts of the employment game were moved during our lifetime, and some people who had thought they would be secure in their jobs until they were 65, now find themselves taking early, unplanned retirement. But early retirement is not an option for many people and can throw up many problems for those who have mortgages and financial commitments to uphold, when they lose their jobs they are shocked. They simply hadn’t expected to find themselves unemployed at this stage in life. They feel cheated and disappointed, and all too easily they can lose their self-esteem. Many are victims of downsizing are 50+ age group and they are the first to go. Overnight their world turns upside down. No longer is there a daily structure to their lives, just an everyday void that takes a lot of adjusting to. As a consequence there may be anger, panic and a sense of failure.

Letters of rejection follow dozens of job applications or worse still no response at all heightens their feeling of failure. Many of the rejections are basically ageist and this dents their ego still further. It can be demoralising poring over the situations vacant columns in newspapers or having to stand in line at the job centre. It’s hard enough trying to get another job competing against one’s peers, yet alone finding oneself constantly pushed aside for someone younger who doesn’t have the qualifications or experience for the job, but who does have youth.

A recent report from the Institute for Employment Studies points out that a third of Britons will be aged 55 or over by 2011. This group is being thrown onto the employment scrapheap and faces an uphill struggle to gain further work. Jenny Kodz one of the co-authors of the report, The Fifties Revival, says “quite aside from their experience, older workers are more committed and reliable, have better customer-facing skills, understand business better and take less short term sickness absence”. So why should these loyal, trustworthy and often skilled workers be penalised for being 45 years or over – it doesn’t make economic sense. Ageism appears to be rife in offices and factories in the UK but so far the Government has refused to legislate against ageist bosses.

It’s hard to try to rebuild self-esteem in these circumstances and people understandably feel frustrated and out of control of the situation. The idea of spending the future more or less housebound doesn’t appeal to many. The future looks bleak, and not surprisingly this can result in an intense feeling of isolation. At home the family try to be supportive, but partners who are not used to others around them on a regular day to day basis can find it difficult, especially when another constantly occupies their previously singular space. Domestic difficulties are heightened by the intensity of the new situation and this claustrophobic effect can lead to issues, which have probably been bubbling away on the back boiler for many years, coming to boiling point. Sometimes this leads to the need for dramatic domestic changes, some good, some bad, in order to accommodate both partners new requirements. Having depended on two wages for many years, some households find it very difficult, and often impossible, to maintain commitments and this puts extra strains on the relationship. Sadly, it can precipitate the end of the relationship, with partners deciding to make a final break and choosing to go it alone into the future.

But the future isn’t always bleak when there is early retirement, and many people on finding themselves unemployed manage to turn the situation to their advantage, and rise to the challenge. For some it means an end to uncertainty and worry at work, that may have been there for months or even years. With the decision made, they feel a sense of relief, and they purposely cut off from their past employment, and optimistically set about trying to carve out a new niche for themselves. Sometimes their new work is completely different from their old work, but if it turns out to be successful it gives an enormous sense of achievement, excitement and a new lease of life.


In any circumstances losing a job is traumatic but sadly in this ever changing and unsettled world too many people can find themselves made redundant overnight. Redundancy is devastating and can seriously affect one’s health and self-esteem. Those made redundant feel numb, disappointed and cheated. Initially the shock can create a sense of isolation and even more so if losing the job was totally unexpected. Not surprisingly after the initial shock and anger, panic sets in. There are desperate thoughts of how one is going to be able to cope.

All too often there will be dependants, partners, children or ageing parents to support and mortgages to pay. Going from two wages to one is very hard for a family and one of the biggest worries will be how to survive. The stresses and strains on any family can be awesome although partners and families who have been together for a long time seem to have a better chance of understanding and working through their problems. Most families show their support, but the redundant breadwinner must make a conscious effort of their own to look after themselves, to avoid becoming a burden to others.

In these circumstances I see nothing wrong with applying a little TLC (tender loving care) to oneself. Rather than sitting around fretting and waiting for the phone to ring or the post too arrive, it would be benefit to work one’s frustrations out in the gym. Chemicals called endorphins are released when we exercise and go some way towards creating the “feel good factor” An alternate would be to relax the mind and refresh the body with a massage or aromotherapy. After all the only person who can rebuild one’s ego is oneself.

But that as we all know can be easier said than done. It’s very hard to sit around the house for hours especially if one has lived life in the fast lane. The very thought of signing on for unemployment benefit horrifies many people who have worked conscientiously for many years or possibly a lifetime. But it should not – we can’t let pride get in the way of necessity. Getting another job may be difficult, if not impossible. There is still a huge bias against older people when it comes to employment. It seems grossly unfair that the Government spends billions of pounds helping young people find employment and only a fraction to assist older people who really do need help to find another job. Most of these people are desperate to work, they have family and commitments to uphold and yet employers shun them because of their age. Many of the bosses are young men who need to be discouraged from shunning older job seekers and made to realise they are turning away experience and knowledge, both of which are valuable assets. Maybe it’s time for the Government to bring in legislation to outlaw age discrimination by employers.

For some people redundancy is the catalyst which brings them to a turning point in their life and which signals major changes. Redundancy forces them to stop and take stock of their lives and having been confronted by an unplanned early retirement they set about making a new life. Whilst there are many women who will be daunted by the possibility of change there are other determined women who are thrilled by the idea. Some see it as a chance to break with tradition and all the constraints of the previous years. They relish the freedom and the opportunity to became their own boss. Thankful of the excuse they bravely make plans and takes up the challenge to do something completely new. It takes courage and determination to find the finance and resources to start again, or to develop a new idea, to make a hobby into a business. But it must be hugely satisfying when the venture is successful.

Some women who are offered early retirement seize the chance of prematurely ending their working days with both hands. They are relieved to be out of the rat race and see early retirement as a huge bonus. They use their time to travel afar, explore extensively and make new friends. Other women find this a truly satisfying time of life and are content to stay nearer to home family and friends. They stuff their travel concession cards safely into their pockets and hop on the local bus or train. With time on their hands they have the opportunity to rediscover their own localities and have time at last to consolidate old friendships. It’s a quality time of life, time for interests and hobbies and a time to nurture the old and develop the new. But a very real problem concerning leisure can be how to keep other people from using it. How many of us find that just when we get to the stage of deciding to “live for ourselves”- somebody close needs us immediately.


Stress used in a positive way is what top athletes and performers use to enhance their performance.    With their healthy attitude stress for them is exciting, life-enhancing and enables them to achieve their goals.   But the negative aspect of stress can lead to physical and mental illness and can put our bodies into a state of turmoil.  We need to recognise stress and stressful situations and learn to control stress if we are to enjoy the rest of our lives.   So many of us waste time and effort when we allow ourselves to become worried and stressed – as I know having previously been one of the world’s worst worriers!    My mother used to wisely say, “worry is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes”   Worry is wasted energy and we need to learn how to plan our lives to avoid stress.   We need to discover ways to relax – to chill out – in order to combat stress that we cannot control ourselves.   But how do we recognise stress, and what can we do to help ourselves cope with it?

Most people will feel stress to varying degrees if they are confronted with an alarming situation.   For example the majority of us would become apprehensive if we were approached by an undesirable character in a deserted dark alleyway.   We may immediately think we were about to be attacked and robbed.   In this situation our bodies will automatically switch to RED ALERT as we respond to feeling threatened.  This triggers off an instinctive reaction.  Our muscles will tense up, we will gasp for breathe, and our hearts will beat extremely fast, and hormones will flood into our bloodstream.    Our bodies are prepared for action and self-survival, we are ready to fight – or turn on our heels to run away.   This instinctive reaction is called FIGHT OR FLIGHT, and this natural tensing up enables us to react immediately to any danger, and it keeps us out of harms way.

However this natural reaction can get out of control, and we may find ourselves overreacting and tensing up in circumstances which don’t warrant it.   When things gets out of control we become DISTRESSED, and we may find ourselves unable to cope with even the smallest irritations and situations.   Some situations, such as a delayed train or plane, or being stuck in a traffic jam are beyond our control, and we are unable to escape from the tension it causes us.   Working long hours and taking work home are signs that we may be working too hard, and cancelling a trip or a holiday because of the job are sure signs of a workaholic under stress.    Many of us feel we have too much to do with unrealistic demands made of us, or with impossible deadlines to meet.   Perhaps we are unhappy and unfulfilled in what we do, or we don’t enjoy the company of our workmates.  Personal relationships at work, or at home can be difficult to cope with, but simply bottling up grievances causes us stress.   Whilst these circumstances persist it is very difficult to get rid of pet up emotions, and there may be an increase in blood pressure and stress levels, which is caused by the frequent surges of stress hormones.

We need to find ways to control our stress levels.   But first we must recognise the cause of our stress and this can vary greatly from one person to another.   Most of us will fall into one of two main personality groups, which doctors call Type A personality or Type B personality.  See if you recognise which type you are, by looking at the following patterns of behaviour.

Type A personality

  • You are always on the go
  • You have an overly busy mind
  • You are unable to relax without feeling guilty
  • You have an inability to sleep
  • You are often impatient
  • You have problems concentrating
  • You can be argumentative
  • You are often irritable
  • You can be confrontational
  • You interrupt people
  • You are a bad listener
  • You feel frustrated
  • You are indecisive
  • You have increased smoking
  • You have increased drinking
  • You bolt your food
  • You neck and shoulders are tense
  • Your heart often beats very fast
  • You suffer from nervous tummy
  • You often feel sweaty
  • You can feel panicky
  • You often have a dry mouth

Type B personality

  • You have a happy disposition
  • You stay calm in a crisis
  • You are relaxed
  • You have an easy manner
  • You sleep well

Do you recognise yourself as Type A personality or Type B?   Maybe you can’t identify yourself with either type!   Perhaps you are a mixture of both types – many people are.  Type A’s are likely to be energetic people who are not afraid of hard work, but sadly the chances are they could be suffering from stress in their life.   Type B’s are probably relaxed people who are able to cope with life more easily.   In order to be less stressed we need to identify the characteristics and behavioural problems of Type A personality and replace them with Type B’s more relaxed attributes.   It is not that easy to do, as I well know.

If you are more Type A personality than Type B think about what causes you most stress and do something about it.   Think about what makes you irritable and frustrated.    Try to avoid situations or people who cause you to get uptight in future.   Become more physically active, exercise can help release pent up emotions and encourage a better sleeping pattern.  Make a positive effort to cut down on drinking and smoking, it will benefit your general health.   Both cigarettes and alcohol only serve as temporary props in coping with life’s difficulties, it would be far better to tackle and deal with the source of the problem itself.   One simple but positive way to cut down your stress level, is to learn to prioritise you time.   Learning to say “no” on some occasions when excessive demands are made on you is a positive way to avoid stress.

The reality is that if you fall into the Type A category, you are more at risk of heart disease than the Type B personality is.  Stress is a major factor in heart disease; we need to control it and to practise relaxing more.   Prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and can make us more susceptible to minor infection.   Excessive stress can put your body into a state of turmoil and cause other physical and mental illnesses.   So look again at the above list and be determined to turn some of those negative attitudes into positive attributes.