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Senior Health: Stress Relief Strategies to Use Today

Senior woman taking a yoga class.

There’s no avoiding the feeling of stress. For good senior health, it’s critical to learn how to relieve stress, as not learning to manage it can lead to negative effects on the mind, body, and spirit. Here are four strategies you can use to feel less burdened and more relaxed. 

1. Talk to Loved Ones

This is a strategy you’ve likely used in the past without giving it much thought. If you’ve raised children, you’ve probably spent hours talking over stressful situations with people like your spouse, mother, sister, brother, and friends. That being said, don’t forget to give friends or family members a call if something is bothering you. Being vulnerable with someone often results in a stronger bond and better friendship.

2. Embrace Scent to Fight Stress

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to improve your well-being — and it’s taken off over the past 10 years. Some soothing scents include lavender, peppermint, and lemongrass.

The most common way to use aromatherapy is to inhale the scent by taking a deep breath or using a diffuser. If you want to get creative, add a few drops of an essential oil to your shampoo or body wash. You can even just boil water and add a drop or two to help create a calming space. 

3. Explore Meditation

Meditation is a technique that trains attention and awareness to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally stable state. This practice is something anyone can do — it doesn’t cost a thing or require any special equipment. New to meditation and not sure where to start? Check out the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center’s page on guided meditations.

4. Practice Deep Breathing

Your body reacts to stress, which leads to symptoms such as a faster heart rate and shallow breathing. Learning deep breathing exercises can help you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response. 

Here’s a simple exercise to try: When it comes to relieving stress, the exhale is where it’s at. Try inhaling for four seconds then exhaling for six for a total of two to five minutes. 

5. Be Grateful

Keeping a positive mindset and making the good things in life your focal point redirects your focus away from stress. In fact, Harvard research shows that being grateful can make you less stressed and overall happier. Try keeping a gratitude journal or simply list the things you are most thankful for before falling asleep each night. Even try writing a letter to someone you never properly thanked for an act of kindness. 

6. Do Something You Love

This is probably the simplest strategy of all but, when you’re really down, it can be hard to stir up the energy to do anything but worry. The more you worry, the worse you feel. It’s not good for senior health — or for anyone at any age. However, if you force yourself to weed your flower garden, head to your woodworking shop, take a walk, or bake a new dessert, you’ll likely find yourself feeling less stressed. 

Embracing Senior Health at The Oaks at Denville

At The Oaks at Denville, we offer numerous amenities that support a stress-free senior living environment, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, library, beauty salon, performance hall, indoor heated pool, yoga classes, and daily activities. We also provide a maintenance-free senior living experience, meaning home repairs aren’t your problem anymore. On-site dining options give you the freedom to enjoy a nice meal without shopping, cooking, or cleaning up. Even more importantly, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that, should you need it, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services are available. Contact us to learn more about our campus in Denville, New Jersey — and the active yet carefree lifestyle that contributes to good senior health. 

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