7 Stress Relief Techniques for Seniors

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Humans are designed to create stress hormones to give us the bursts of energy and awareness that are necessary to flee from danger. Stress hormones such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol can lead to health issues such as insomnia, headaches, and high blood pressure.

If you’re providing senior care for a loved one, or you’re a senior yourself, here are some tips on relieving the stress in your own life.

1. Exercise
Everyone could use the health benefits that come with exercise. When you’re working out, your body produces mood-boosting endorphins while decreasing your stress hormone levels. It improves your sleep patterns as well, further reducing stress.

2. Connect With Others
People are social animals, so it’s essential that we maintain close connections with friends and family members. Hugs alone can help release oxytocin, reducing the amount of cortisol in your system. If you’re providing senior care for a loved one, make sure they’re spending quality time with the people they care about.

3. Music
It’s no secret that music affects our mood. Music, such as slow, classical compositions, has been shown to slow the heart rate and decrease blood pressure. Relaxing music can assist with meditation and sleep as well, having the effect of reducing stress throughout the day.

4. Art
You don’t have to have artistic inclinations to benefit from its stress-relieving properties. Painting or sculpting is valuable, but so is something as simple as filling in adult coloring books. Engaging in any artistic project helps the mind to focus and clear itself of anxious thoughts.

5. A Healthy Diet
Steer clear of too many foods that can add stress. Don’t drink coffee excessively, and avoid refined carbohydrates like snack chips, or foods that are high in sugar. Some stress-relieving foods you can enjoy include dark chocolate, yogurt, eggs, salmon, almonds, and walnuts.

6. Deep Breathing
Take some time every day to practice deep breathing techniques. Find a spot where you can’t be interrupted (put your smartphone down) and spend three to five minutes inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. This simple exercise — as well as others — can help diminish your stress hormone levels.

7. Laugh!
Laughter is indeed one of the best medicines. It releases your body’s stress response, enabling you to relax, and it allows you to take in more oxygen-rich air while stimulating the heart, lungs, and muscles. If you’re not finding time to laugh every single day, what are you waiting for?

Getting old may not be easy, but there are several ways you can help yourself or your senior care loved one with stress-relieving activities.

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