Healthy Living Tips: Stress Relief

February 10, 2016

Currently, there are over 36 million seniors age 65 and older living in the United States.

While living longer is a definite benefit for everyone, there are stressors that accompany getting older. Things such as financial difficulties, rising medical costs, limited mobility, forgetfulness, grandparents raising grandchildren, and everyday household chores are huge concerns for the elderly population.

Stress takes both a physical and emotional strain on the human body. Physical effects of stress include elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and over production of adrenaline. Mental or emotional effects of stress include irritability, feelings of anxiousness, depression, and anger. Although most people suffer from some type of stress in their life, the elderly population may have different difficulties.

Effective stress control enhances both mental and physical well-being.  Exercise and practicing relaxation methods are the best ways to keep chronic stress in check, but it isn’t likely we can take a jog or stop what we are doing for a meditation break every time we’re faced with a stressful situation.

However, techniques like controlled breathing exercises when we feel our stress levels soaring can and do help.  Here’s an effective way to stop escalating feelings of anger, tension, and frustration through the use of controlled breathing:

1. Sit upright in a comfortable position.

2. Focus on the present state of mind.   Block out intrusive thoughts.

3. Pay close attention to breathing, inhaling slowly through the nose.

4. Exhaling through the mouth.

5. Continue this breathing for 3-5 minutes.

With regular practice, we can train our body to relax in stressful situations.

At Piedmont Crossing, residents enjoy life without the responsibility of home maintenance and the comfort of knowing that services are available. Relax and enjoy the good life at Piedmont Crossing.