As you age, it’s important you embrace these tips for older adults to ease your anxiety and feel calmer and happier.
Anxiety is a very common mental health problem affecting people of any age.
However, older adults are particularly at risk for developing an anxiety disorder because aging brings about many changes in our lives.
We may worry more about retirement, health issues, and caregiving responsibilities than we had when we were younger.
This can lead to anxiety, the body’s response to a perceived threat. Anxiety can be relieved or managed by practicing breathing and relaxation exercises, being socially and physically active, sleeping and eating well, seeking help from evidence-based treatments like cognitive behavior therapy, and listening to music.
Plus I founded the therapist recommended video course called The Anxiety Cure.
Coming up are some suggestions for older adults to ease anxiety and any other struggles with mental health issues. Let’s get started…
Some of the common symptoms of anxiety for older adults are:
Breathing exercises can help ease anxiety by slowing your heart rate and calming your body.
Try this exercise: Breathe in through your nose slowly until you feel your lungs have filled up with air, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth, making sure you expel all of the air before taking another breath. Repeat this several times until you feel calm.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to help relieve anxiety. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress hormones and boost mood-regulating neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you’re not used to exercising regularly, start slowly with walking or light stretching exercises. As your body gets accustomed to being active again, gradually increase your intensity and duration until you reach your target heart rate for optimal health benefits.
The more active you are, the less likely you are to suffer from anxiety. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day (such as walking), preferably in the morning so it can help wake your brain up and improve your mood throughout the day.
Eating healthy and drinking lots of water can also help you manage anxiety. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats can reduce inflammation in the body while providing a steady flow of nutrients to your brain. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins that may be causing your symptoms.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. By focusing on the present moment and observing your thoughts, feelings and sensations without judgment, you can stop fighting yourself and instead let go of stressors that may have been contributing to your symptoms. Start by setting aside time each day to meditate or engage in other mindful activities such as yoga or walking in nature.
Sufferers of anxiety often find their symptoms improve with social interaction. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, try to make time for friends and family. Going out with your friends or coworkers can help distract you from worrying about what might go wrong in the future or dwelling on worries from the past.
A therapist can help you identify the causes of your anxiety and find ways to manage it. If you feel like you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help from a doctor or mental health professional. Doctors can also take the help of the geriatric depression scale (GDS) test to assess the severity of depression in elderly patients. The test can be administered by trained health professionals or family members who report the patient’s responses. The scale consists of certain questions, each with three possible answers: no, mild or moderately severe. For example, one question might be, “Do you feel that life has been a failure?” If your answer is yes, it will count as mildly severe.
If you’re suffering from anxiety, try changing your lifestyle. Do more exercise or eat healthier foods. See a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve after a few weeks.
But it can be done, and it is possible to live a full and meaningful life with this condition.
As you might already know, I write about how to protect your health in a range of my bestselling wellness books.
Explore my nutritionist recommended online program: The Stop Emotional Eating Course!