4 ways to reduce stress for seniors

Sometimes, after a long day, all you need is a little peace and quiet to relieve stress. However, for those individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders, a bad day could easily become a bad week, month or year—which is why it's so important to be proactive about your mental wellness and take the necessary steps needed to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in Canada. The main anxiety disorders that older adults tend to face include Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, a specific phobia or even Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The source says about 12 per cent of Canadians are affected by at least one of these disorders per year.

If you feel you are dealing with excessive stress, there are ways to help alleviate your worry and anxiety. Here are four ways to reduce stress for seniors.

1. Practice deep-breathing meditation
Helpguide says deep breathing is an easy, yet powerful technique for successful relaxation. The purpose of deep-breathing meditation is to channel all of your focus into your breathing, which can help clear your mind of anything stressful or negative. All you have to do is sit comfortably with your back straight, breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out through your mouth – it's that simple!

"Stress levels and diet are closely related."

2. Make healthy diet choices
Did you know that your stress levels and diet are closely related? When you've had a long day, you may want to reach for a sugary snack, but you should opt for wholesome foods instead. Fruits and vegetables are staples in healthy eating, but try adding fish to your diet as well. Healthline says fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can actually reduce symptoms of stress!

3. Listen to music
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, sit back, relax and listen to some music. Healthline says listening to calming music can reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress, and it can also lower blood pressure. Try listening to soothing nature sounds like ocean waves. Close your eyes, relax and pretend you're sitting on the beach, enjoying another beautiful day of retirement.

Listening to music is a great way to relieve stress.
Listening to music is a great way to relieve stress.

4. Join a club or class
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, seniors who neglect to participate in social activities can become more vulnerable to isolation, loneliness and depression. Staying social and maintaining relationships can help benefit mental health in seniors. If you reside in a retirement residence, consider joining a book club or attending a fitness class. Not only can it benefit you socially, but it can also enhance your overall well-being.