Stress management has been associated with increased senior health and well-being. After all, with job stress that’s been endured for decades out of the picture, one may wonder if there even is stress after retirement. However, senior stress can still originate from relationships, finances, and retirement itself, as well as from many other areas of life.
Stress Management Methods Useful to Older Adults
The following are effective methods of stress management that may be especially conducive to senior health.
Studies on meditation show that it can not only provide relief from stress when it is practiced but can help build a kind of immunity to future stress—your stress response may be triggered less often if you meditate regularly. Meditation is also an ideal stress reliever for seniors in that it requires no special equipment or physical ability, can be practiced in a variety of settings, and provides excellent relief from stress.
Solving Sudoku or crossword puzzles, or working on other thinking games can provide mental stimulation akin to ‘brain exercise.’ Because these games require focused concentration, they can provide a helpful distraction for those who tend to ruminate over stressors, plus the benefits of mental stimulation. You can get a lot of mental stimulation by doing the daily crossword puzzle from your local newspaper, or you can go the more high-tech route of playing a portable video game or online game.
Research shows that yoga can help promote well-being and improve quality of life in seniors, as well as enhance senior health. It’s also an excellent stress relief tool and can carry other physical benefits.
While some forms of yoga have a spiritual component, yoga can be practiced as a purely physical exercise, making it compatible with all faiths.
The practice of yoga allows a lot of flexibility, so it’s a good choice for people of all ability levels and fitness goals.
Breathing exercises are an extremely convenient, fast-acting and effective stress reliever that can be easily adopted by people of any age, including seniors. Wherever you are, it’s possible to diffuse stress with a few deep, controlled breaths.
Sometimes just looking at something a different way can make it seem less stressful. Practice finding the positive in a situation, looking at it from a different angle, or even working with a therapist on a specific situation, and you may find that your stress response is triggered less and less. ‘Cognitive restructuring’ is a clinical term for changing the way you look at things, an important part of cognitive therapy, which has been found to be extremely helpful for a variety of issues, including stress.