Stress is a common issue faced by many in their daily lives. For older adults, stress often results in health problems, such as sleep problems, headaches, physical and mental exhaustion, difficulty in focusing, muscle tension, change in appetite, stomach upset, chest pain, and more. Fortunately, there are some ways to minimize the effects of stress. Here are a few of the best stress-relieving tips for your aging loved one.
Avoid Eating Sugary or Unhealthy Foods
A less known trigger of stress is food lacking in nutrition. In our society today, it is too easy to consume foods that have little to no nutrition, with fast food available everywhere. A lack of proper nutrition has a significant impact on our brain, our stress levels as well as our mental health. A well-balanced diet should include portions of vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, poultry and nuts. Besides making changes to the diet to incorporate healthier meals, older adults are advised to avoid sugar as much as possible. An overconsumption of sugar can directly lead to problems like diabetes, obesity and other illnesses. By cutting away sugar from the diet, stress and anxiety could end up going away naturally.
Engage in Excercise and Activities
Apart from the usual exercises such as walking, jogging or aerobics, older adults can also take part in other alternative workouts which are more gentle on their aging joints. The list includes yoga, massage, tai chi, reiki and craniosacral therapy. Doing these exercises regularly can have a major impact on lowering stress levels, reducing blood pressure, improving concentration, enhancing mental capacity and many more. Such activities also help aging adults improve their sense of mindfulness and help them to maintain an independent lifestyle.
Work the Brain
On top of the obvious physical advantages of exercising regularly, which include increasing bone density and lung capacity, exercising has a significant positive effect on the brain. According to a study by the University of Illinois, it was proven that seniors that participated in 40-minute walks for three days a week over a year can increase the hippocampus size in their brains. This specific area of the brain is responsible for learning and memory.
Similarly, aging adults can also make use of crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, chess and other problem-solving and memory games to stimulate the brain. A study in 2014 shows that brain exercises help the elderly preserve their speed of cognition and reasoning skills. An alert and sharp mind will definitely help to bring down the stress levels.
Developing a sense of mindfulness is one of the primary means of coping with stress in our daily life. By being able to quiet our busy minds, we can become more conscious of living in the present and not get too fixated on the past or worry excessively about the future. A way for older adults to achieve mindfulness is through meditation, as it helps the brain to improve its ability to rewire and adapt to different situations.
TerraBella Shelby has a comprehensive range of senior-focused activities and amenities as well as customized care services that ensure that all our residents are well cared for, while still retaining their independence. If you would like to find out more about our programs, feel free to contact us now!