According to Stress.org, as we age, coping with stress isn’t as easy as it once was. Heart and lung capacity naturally decline due to cellular aging and this prevents the body from effectively adjusting the body’s natural stress response.
Stress is both necessary and a natural part of life. If you experience consistent high levels as you get older, however, you may suffer a variety of lasting negative effects like high blood pressure.
So, what are our options? How can we reduce stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Stress will never completely disappear from your life. To mitigate the negative effects of stress on the body, we can learn to control the high stress “fight-or-flight” response.
Here are four tips to help quickly reduce stress.
In order to achieve mindfulness and reduce stress, meditation is essential. Meditation is proving to be a very effective method for adapting and rewiring the brain and allowing us to practice mindfulness.
Practicing meditation, which targets the brain, mind, body, and behavior has existed for thousands of years. In ancient times, meditation was said to improve mental balance, reduce stress, cope with illness, and improve one's overall health and well-being.
The ability to be mindful is one of the most important means of combating stress. We become less tangled up in the past and less worried about the future when our busy minds are quieted, and we become more aware of the present moment. As long as we acknowledge and accept our feelings and thoughts, we can enjoy "the now".
2. Exercise and Movement
Exercise is not only good for your body, like improving lung capacity and bone density, but it's also good for your brain. Since this is where the majority of our stress originates, exercise is extremely important to reduce stress levels.
If seniors exercise consistently and regularly, they will see other improvements in their health as well. Seniors may feel more confident on their feet, which helps eliminate falls and they may recover quicker from illnesses.
There are more subtle forms of "body manipulation" than traditional exercise such as walking or weightlifting that are potentially beneficial for seniors to help with limiting stress levels. Among the programs seniors can incorporate are:
Elderwood, a leader in senior living offers a program for assisted living residents called Right Moves®. The award-winning program helps seniors maintain balance, mobility, and core strength to allow them to live independently longer. The program has shown great results in preventing falls and stress reduction.
Some of the benefits of exercise and body movement include:
- Taking steps to relieve the physical impacts of stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Gaining energy
- Concentration and mental capacity are enhanced
- Improvements in illnesses such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's
3. Stay Socially Engaged
Activity engagement is important for seniors because it helps give them purpose. Social, mental, physical, and emotional engagement are enhanced by activities. A common problem among seniors is that they isolate themselves, which can lead to depression and other psychological issues. A senior's quality of life, attitude, and overall well-being are improved greatly by staying involved and surrounding themselves with others.
Seniors can participate in their communities in many ways, whether they live independently, in an assisted living facility or in a skilled nursing facility. Staying involved in the community is easy by volunteering. Libraries, hospitals, schools, community centers, and churches are among the many places seniors can volunteer.
4. Eat Healthy
Nutrition has an important influence on the brain. To maintain our mental well-being and manage our stress levels, our diets must contain all the vitamins and minerals needed. You should consume a lot of eggs, vegetables, fish, red meat, poultry, nuts, and salads.
The number one nutritional recommendation for reducing stress is to avoid sugar. Sugar consumption directly correlates to mood, disease, obesity and diabetes. Sugar elimination would limit stress and anxiety, and grow the mineral substance in the body, and improve cognitive function, as well as other health benefits.