As we age, our ability to handle stress becomes a crucial factor that can significantly determine our overall state of mental health. And, while most people disregard stress altogether, or resign themselves to the thought that stress is just another fact of life, the truth is that you can easily reduce stress in your life at any stage.
Stress has been proven to manifest itself physiologically. An overly stressed person can break out in rash, hives, develop autoimmune diseases, and begin having panic attacks; fits of distress that can weigh heavily on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
In our latter years, our ability to cope with stress is slightly reduced. But, if you make attempts now to mitigate stress and begin activities and exercises to reduce it, this will also carry over into your golden years.
Here, we’ll outline a few methods for dealing with stress that you can begin implementing at any stage in your life.
Adjust Your Routine
You’d be surprised to learn that just by simply modifying your existing routine that you can greatly reduce most of the stress in your life. This can include modifying your diet, frequenting natural locations, waking up later (or earlier), and by reevaluating who you’re spending most of your time around.
Most of the time, a lot of the stress in our lives is caused either by our own thoughts or from outside influences that we willingly subject ourselves to. In fact, a great deal of the stress and anxiety that elder residents suffer from in nursing facilities is largely caused by the people they associate with, including the staff. Additionally, neglect or abuse at nursing homes is all too common, and this is an unfortunate occurrence in nursing homes.
By adjusting your routine, and subjecting yourself to a more peaceful environment, you’ll reduce your stress and begin to notice how much better you feel almost immediately.
Quiet Your Mind
Throughout our lives, we’re continually bombarded internally by our own thoughts. And, for the longest time, many scholars have held that there is no real way to stop the influx of thought that occurs on a second-by-second basis.
Fortunately, there are methods that you can use to quiet the mind and give yourself a break from that hammering of thought that begins as soon as you wake in the morning.
Our thoughts largely shape our lives, and it is only within the mind that we can begin to shape our thoughts and help to shift our experience into a more positive light.
Meditation techniques, Yoga, and martial arts all embody strict mental discipline. It is only through training the mind that you’re able to quiet that barrage of thought that seems to never cease.
Take a meditation class, practice Tai Chi, or head over to your local Yoga studio if you want to get peace of mind and clarity. Studies show that those who train the mind are better able to deal with anxiety and stress, whether this is stress at the workplace or just in daily life in general. And, you’ll be able to carry the benefits of mental exercises with you throughout your life.
Immerse Yourself in Nature
The natural world sadly has become a foriegn place to human beings in the last century. This is an odd statistic, considering we are all part of nature as well, yet we somehow seem to separate ourselves from it as our society progresses.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature has a healing effect on the mind and body. Even being around moving water can greatly reduce stress and improve focus due to the negatively charged ions that moving water helps to produce.
If you’re feeling stressed and need to unplug, take a stroll into the natural world near where you live. Chances are there is a body of water you can visit, or an open space that you might like to explore. You’ll notice that even after an hour, your stress will be reduced and you’ll feel 100 times better about yourself.