Stress is a physical, mental, and emotional reaction to any event or thought that causes intense emotion. It differs for individuals; what might be stressful for someone might not be for another. Stress cuts across all age groups, but stress in the elderly can be more difficult to deal with.
Stress management is very important, especially in the elderly, because if left unchecked, it can manifest into worse things. The American Medical Association said this about stress, “It has been verified through scientific exploration that more than 80 percent of all diseases are due to stress and strain that originate in the mind and reflect on the body.” Stress management can help prevent illness and even speed up the healing process of existing ailments.
The human body reacts to stressful situations by producing cortisol (the stress hormone), suppressing digestion and the immune system, tensing the muscles for action, and increasing heart rate. This fight or flight response is very useful in dangerous situations because it prepares the body for action. The problem is that most people turn the stress response on a lot of the time. This can lead to various diseases, including Alzheimer’s, hypertension, heart disease, and so on.
You might not be able to eliminate all the stress-causing situations, but with stress management, you can learn to cope with such situations. Here are some effective stress management strategies.
Increasing mindfulness is one of the best techniques for managing stress. It involves living in the moment, tackling issues as they come, and being more attentive to people and your surroundings. Mindfulness can do wonders for people with stress issues. One of the best methods of practicing mindfulness is meditation. During meditation, you can also control your breathing and help heal some other illnesses.
Regular Physical And Mental Exercise
Regular exercise helps reduce stress by relaxing the brain, where stress originates. It also helps by improving lung capacity, cognition, muscle mass, memory, and general fitness. Regular exercise also helps blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body, and research has shown that exercise helps increase the number of brain cells, a great advantage for elderly persons. Exercising activities, such as yoga, aerobics, and Tai Chi, are even more effective if performed in a group.
Communicate And Build Relationships
Communication is key to managing stress. Some infirm seniors try to hide the true extent of their illness, so others won’t know how bad things really are. By communicating with others, they can get help and improve their condition, thereby reducing stress. Also, being part of a community with a common goal will help direct your energy towards more profitable ventures and reduce worry over less important things.
Eat Nutritious Foods
A good diet can improve many things, and a stressed lifestyle is no exception. Good food nourishes the brain and increases mental stimulation and general well-being. Your diet should contain the various nutrients in the right proportions. Do not fill yourself with fast food, sweets, and so on because they contain empty calories without any real nutrition.
Tackle The Stressor Head-on
Firstly, learn to recognize the symptoms of a stressed person. These include headache, labored breathing, and increased heart rate. Then, try to find the cause of the stress, fix it, and prevent future relapses.
Using any one of the above strategies is guaranteed to provide positive results if done right. It is recommended to use a combination of all for best results, though. Also, be sure to contact Countryside Home Health Care through their email and phone lines or book an appointment for comprehensive stress management therapy.