Hassles, Uplifts, and Growing Older

Life always has its ups and downs.

According to the transactional model of stress proposed by Richard Lazarus and Susan Folkman,  much of the stress we encounter comes in the form of daily hassles, those small and frequent life events that can cause tension and disrupt well-being.   Whether it involves spilling your coffee on yourself, being late for work, or coping with an unexpected setback, daily hassles can seem minor on their own.   Over time however, the cumulative stress caused by dealing with too many of these daily hassles can drain your inner resources and trigger the kind of health problems associated with catastrophic stress in your life.

On the other hand, there are also the uplifts that we experience.  These are the positive life events that can help reinforce a sense of well-being.   When something good happens to you, seemingly out of the blue, it can help restore your capacity for dealing with stress.   While research into the effect of uplifts on health is not as extensive as what has been learned about daily hassles,  uplifts have been linked to medical benefiits such as improved mood, serum cortisol levels and lower levels of inflammation.

But what about as we grow older? 

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post. 









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