Stress in older adults can have many causes, from significant life changes, or as a result of living with chronic illness. It’s natural that we will have all experienced bouts of stress in our lives in one way or another. But in its severest form, long term stress can be a problem that affects all aspects of life. If left untreated, it has the chance to develop into something more serious, like further health problems, or even depression. Knowing how to detect and deal with stress is a powerful tool to have at any age that can improve our overall wellbeing. Read on to find out practical ways to reduce stress as we age.
When it comes to our wellbeing, managing stress levels have a significant impact on our overall health, both physical and mental. From raising our blood pressure to affecting our sleep, stress has a lot to answer for!
Common signs of stress in older adults include but aren’t limited to:
- Experiencing mood swings, increased irritability, or depression
- Lacking concentration regularly
- Changes in sleeping patterns or insomnia
- Withdrawing socially or from activities you once enjoyed
- Frequent tension headaches or heart palpitations
So, how can we reduce stress as we age?
Pinpoint what’s causing you stress
Stress can be caused by all sorts of lifestyle factors. Even one’s that aren’t immediately obvious to us. Learning the root of your stress will help you figure out how to get past it. Write it down, talk to someone you trust, or even contact your GP or Geriatrician. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step to getting the right treatment for you and your personal circumstances.
Make time for ‘down time’
Do you have a daily to do list that bogs you down? When we get caught up in the ‘must-do’s’ of life, we forget about the things we used to do just for fun or relaxation. You can’t feel your best when you’re stressed or burned out, so making time for yourself among other responsibilities is important. Carving out time in your day or week for things or activities that bring you joy can help you feel recharged and ready to take on the rest of your week.
Meditation and breathwork
The way we breathe affects our whole body. If you’ve never tried deep breathing or meditation as a form of stress relief, then you may be sceptical at first. But in fact, deep breathing is one of the best and most accessible ways we can actively lower stress in our bodies. We breathe naturally, without thinking, but in reality, a lot of this is shallow breathing. By taking deep, slow, focused breaths we can clear our minds and slow our heart rates. This sends a message to our brains to calm down and relax. Breathing exercises are a great way to reduce tension and relieve stress.
Keep social connections strong
Aging and mobility issues can cause us to become more isolated than we once were. Sometimes, simply sharing our feelings with others can help to ease some of the stress and frustrations we’re experiencing and prevent them from escalating. Keep connections strong, even if it’s not always in-person. Scheduling daily or weekly phone calls, walks, or meet ups with our nearest and dearest can help to blow the cobwebs off and give us an opportunity to vent our feelings in a healthy way.
Want to stress less? If mobility issues are on your mind, aids and stairlifts can help to ease the worry, stress and pressure of getting around your home independently. If you have questions about any of our straight or curved stairlifts, contact Halton’s friendly team by telephone on 0800 644 7766. You can also call for a free quote or head here to get your free quick quote online.