Aging And Mental Health: Addressing Issues Of Stress Of Older Adults

When we get older we have different physical health concerns as well as being faced with different mental health issues. For example, our lives can take a drastic change. Where your life was once filled with work and family, you may now find yourself facing the day with no plans and a sense of uselessness. Seniors are often plagued with loneliness, depression and stress. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are tools you can use to help yourself as well as other options.

Studies show that stress has some benefits in addition to the down side. Stress The benefits include focuses our thinking, forces us to make quick decisions, and stressful circumstances raises our adrenaline levels. On the other hand, ongoing chronic stress can have a negative effect on our immune system and make us vulnerable to illness. There are steps you can take to avoid this reaction. If you are experiencing an ongoing stressful situation, take steps to avoid getting sick.

Stress is a condition we usually have no control over.  It’s something we encounter in our day to day lives.  The odd thing is the experts say it can be good as well as bad for you.  Stress can kick us into high gear without an intention on our part.  An example is dealing with a close call while driving.  Your adrenaline kicks in, your thinking gains focus, and you often have to make a quick decision and act on it.  The bad type of stress is called chronic stress.  It is an emotion you have to deal with for a long time.  We’ve all had those years where we’ve been forced to deal with stress brought on by family illness, teenagers, and work just to name a few.  This ongoing stress can do a number on us physically.  It puts our bodies into an ongoing hyper alert state which eventually lowers our immune system, making us vulnerable to ill health. There are certain steps you can take to alleviate the effect your stress is causing your physical well being.  You should distress with meditation and deep breathing exercises.  The two practices go together. 

  • DEEP BREATHING – Lie flat on your back with legs stretched out.  Place one hand on your belly area and one on your chest area.  While taking a deep breath, push out with your belly and count to 5. Slow exhale while counting to 7.  Keep this up for a minimum of 5 minutes a day.
  • MEDITATION – Try to take at least 5 minutes of your day.  Sit quietly by yourself in a quiet area.  If it helps to keep distractions away, repeat a sound or word over and over.  Breathe deeply and evenly.  Try to clear your mind from any and all distractions.  Meditation is easier to do after you’ve practiced deep breathing.

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