Science-Backed Techniques For Reducing Stress

August 1, 2023

As we get older, our bodies change, our minds may not be as sharp as they once were, and we may face new and unfamiliar circumstances. 

With all these changes, it’s no surprise that we seniors often feel stressed and worried. 

But there are a few simple tips that can make a huge difference. Let’s take a closer look!

Instructor performing yoga with seniors during sports class

How Does Stress Impact Seniors?

Stress is a natural part of life, and it’s something that we all experience from time to time. 

As we age, our bodies become less equipped to handle stress, making us more vulnerable to its negative effects. 

Stress can manifest in a variety of ways, including physical symptoms like muscle tension, heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, headaches, and digestive issues, as well as emotional symptoms like anxiety, depression, and irritability. 

It’s so important to manage your stress levels for a healthier, happier life. 

6 Tips for Reducing Stress in Seniors

Here’s what you can do to combat stress and lead a happier, healthier life.

1. Write Down Your Worries 

When we worry, we can get lost in a loop of negative thoughts, or we may focus on worst-case scenarios. Writing down our concerns can help.

Putting our thoughts on paper forces us to articulate our concerns in a more concrete and objective way. Seeing our worries in black and white can sometimes take the edge off our anxiety.

The act of writing can be therapeutic in and of itself. Putting pen to paper allows us to express ourselves freely and without judgment. Writing can help us gain a new perspective on a situation, or reveal feelings that we may not have been fully conscious of. 

Remember that writing down our worries does not mean that we are dwelling on the negative but instead, acknowledging our concerns and working through them. 

2. Try Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and fully engaged in your surroundings. Instead of worrying about the past or future, mindfulness encourages you to focus on the present moment and to engage with your surroundings. 

3. Get Moving (Ideally Outside) 

Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Exercises like walking or swimming release endorphins, improve heart health, and promote better sleep. 

4. Embrace Your Community 

Feeling isolated can lead to depression and anxiety. Consider joining a local seniors group, volunteering, or participating in community activities. 

5. Mind Your Diet 

Your diet may play a critical role in your stress levels. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce stress and improve overall health. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re feeling stressed, making the move to senior living may help alleviate stress for both residents and families. PLC communities offer all kinds of stress-relieving activities to our residents, from exercise classes to social events. 

After all, stress affects everyone, and seniors are no exception. By taking practical steps to reduce anxiety, we can lead healthier, happier, and of course, more relaxing, lives. 

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