This is the second of a two-part series on stress, last week we talked about some stress relievers. this week we’ll talk about when stress will not quit.

Cortisol is the “stress hormone, produced naturally in the body, and helps the body respond to threatening situations. It causes your fight-or-flight instinct.

Here’s how to fight the cortisol flood. Use your body. Exercise can bring down your cortisol levels, especially in the elderly, and people with major depressive disorders. That good feeling that follows exertion is the most healing thing you can do for stress.

Use your mind…Older adults have the advantage in calming the sympathetic nervous system. Acquired wisdom can help us notice stressful patterns and and practice acceptance. Let’s call it “reframing” a perceived threat, cuts it down to size.

In a recent study, older adults who participated in mindfulness training reduced their risk of depression by more than 50 percent.

It isn’t always the stressor itself that causes the problem, but the feeling we can’t do anything about it.

That’s the reason for exercise. It’s active, proactive, and it gives you a sense of mastery and control. Exercise that causes stress also offsets the health risks.