Do you know that anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions? When it comes to older adults, in particular, up to 20% of loved ones suffer from some form of anxiety. While anxiety is our body’s natural reaction to stress, anxiety disorders can severely impede someone’s quality of life as it involves excessive stress and fear. Anxiety can cause the person to feel easily lethargic and irritated, have difficulty concentrating, face sleep problems, and many more. As such, here are some ways you can help loved ones relieve anxiety.
Engage in Breathing Exercises
One of the most popular and effective ways to relieve anxiety is to practise deep breathing. Deep breathing allows loved ones to take in larger amounts of oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide, when entered into the bloodstream, can soothe the parts of the brain responsible for releasing stress hormones. While breathing is part of our bodies’ natural way to operate, deep breathing exercises do need some practice along the way. This is why you see yoga instructors and psychologists teaching deep breathing exercises as there are certain methods to expand the stomach in order to breathe more effectively.
Lead A More Active Lifestyle
Motivate your loved ones to kill two birds with one stone by leading a more active lifestyle. Aside from relieving anxiety, taking part in physical activities can provide them with an opportunity to lose weight. It does not even have to be strenuous activities. Light activities like walking, doing chair yoga, and hiking are found to be just as effective in relieving anxiety. In a retirement community like Mariposa, these activities are provided in our Celebrations Activities and Events lifestyle program, which encourages loved ones to lead a healthier lifestyle while forming new friendships.
A fun fact: what we eat does directly affect our mental health. For example, a diet rich in saturated fats can negatively impact our physical health, which correlates to mental health in the long run. As such, proper nutrition is highly crucial in order to prevent anxiety from building up. Look for foods rich in protein, vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats instead. Some beverages like coffee or anything with high doses of caffeine can also prevent the mind and body from getting relaxed. As we’re in the topic of diet, lifestyle choices play a part as well. Remind your loved ones to stay away from drinking too much alcohol and smoking if they’re wanting to relieve anxiety.
Follow A Routine
For some loved ones and even adults in general, an unfamiliar and unpredictable routine can cause much confusion and anxiety as they’re not aware of what’s going to come next. This results in their mind overthinking and being prepared for the worst, thus leading to anxiety and other negative feelings to arise. Therefore, one way to relieve the anxiety in loved ones is to allow them to follow a standard routine each day. You can achieve this by creating a schedule of tasks and responsibilities each day so that your loved ones would have something to look forward to.