1. Exercise breathing
Deep breathing can help reduce feelings of anxiety. The amount of carbon dioxide in your blood rises with deep breathing, which can relax the parts of your brain that are in charge of anxiety attacks. Deep breathing also activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes rest and sleep.
The more you do breathing exercises, the more effective they will become over time. Try to breathe so that your stomach extends on inhalation and contracts on exhalation. A typical breathing pattern is to inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, and then exhale for four counts. Another technique is to breathe in for seven counts and out for eleven.
In just a few minutes, daily mindfulness exercises can considerably lower seniors’ overall stress and anxiety levels. Mindfulness is the state of being completely present in the moment without concentrating on the past or the future. While practising mindfulness, you can pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. If you have any worrying thoughts, try to acknowledge them without concentrating on them.
Deep breathing exercises can be done simultaneously with mindfulness exercises. As you breathe, pay attention to how your body feels with each inhale and expiration. Keep your attention on your breathing, gently bringing it back if it starts to wander.
3. Fitness activity
Despite the fact that exercise is one of the best ways to support mental health, seniors usually don’t receive enough of it. The top exercises for seniors include the following:
- seated yoga
- water polo
- weightlifting workouts
- trekking or strolling
Numerous online resources, including workout videos, are available for seniors. However, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new fitness plan, especially if you have any present health issues.
4. Changes in diet
Eating well has a significant impact on both your physical and emotional health. Eating a balanced diet that has the right amounts of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates will help you better manage your anxious thoughts. Make sure to incorporate a variety of healthy foods at each meal, and occasionally, treat yourself to your favourite snacks.
It has been demonstrated that some medications make elderly people more anxious. For example, caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that could give you the jitters or make you anxious. Avoid smoking and ingesting large amounts of coffee to keep your body and mind at ease.
5. Community connections
Many elderly people experience loneliness, particularly if they have limited mobility and don’t get out into the neighbourhood very often. It can be a terrific idea to support elderly individuals who are socially isolated in order to reduce anxiety and other mental health problems.
Family is a significant source of social support. You’ll feel better and have more energy when you spend time with your siblings, children, grandchildren, or other family members on a regular basis. If you can’t see your family or friends in person, try video chatting with them. The neighbourhood senior centre or volunteer groups could also provide social assistance.
For some elderly people, a lack of structure or routine can be a major source of anxiety. seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s are especially vulnerable. By following a routine, stress can be decreased and the day can become more predictable.
You might test out daily and weekly routines. For instance, you may arrange to go grocery shopping every Tuesday and attend a weekly event at the senior centre every Monday. A daily routine could involve eating at the same time every day, calling a loved one every evening, or carrying out duties in a particular order.
7. Sleep style
Seniors who don’t get enough sleep may feel more anxious than usual, but nighttime worries can also make it difficult to fall asleep. Making improvements to your sleeping environment and sleeping patterns can help your mental health in the following ways:
- Every day, go to bed and get up at the same hour.
- White noise machines can be used to block out distracting noises.
- Before going to bed, relax by reading or listening to music.
- Avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon.
Have a family member, friend, or medical alert system you can call if you have a nighttime emergency.
8. Restful activities
By partaking in soothing pastimes, you can relax and stay away from situations that make you anxious. Everyone has different interests, so you might need to try out a few different things before you find an activity that relaxes you. For older adults, gardening, colouring, listening to music, reading, and drawing are some of the most popular pastimes.
9. Speak to a doctor
Occasionally, a physical health problem might be a sign of a mental health problem. For instance, a variety of distinct medical disorders, including Lyme disease, nutritional deficiencies, and hyperthyroidism, are linked to anxiety in seniors. It could also be a side effect of a medicine. In the event that your anxiety symptoms are being caused by a physical health problem, your doctor will be able to help you treat it and possibly reduce or eliminate them.
People of various ages and backgrounds may find working with a counsellor to be beneficial. Elderly people tend to find it easier to talk about their mental health issues with an objective professional than with friends or family.
Throughout your counselling sessions, you and your therapist can pinpoint the causes or triggers of your anxiety symptoms. You can then work together to come up with a plan for how to handle your symptoms when they appear. The more often you apply these strategies, the easier it will become to shut off anxious thoughts and lead a worry-free life.
Anxiety attacks can be a severe problem for seniors and be detrimental to their mental and physical well-being. Learning to regulate anxious thoughts requires practise. Making lifestyle modifications, partaking in stress-relieving activities, or seeking professional support can all help you lead a calmer life and enhance your mental health.
Want to learn more?
ConsidraCare’s live in caregiver are trained to offer professional support to seniors, such as helping those with anxiety disorders. Please reach out to us at email@example.com or call us at 1-855-410-7971 to arrange care for a loved one.