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Seniors: Managing and Mitigating Anxiety, Worry, and Fear
Over 10 percent of older adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, reports the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. You may be experiencing anxiety yourself. Needless to say, it’s not a desirable state of being. It hurts the quality of your life and, if left unaddressed, may lead to physical health problems and depression.
Fortunately, with a little work, you can manage and reduce anxiety and accompanying feelings of stress, worry, fear, or anger.
Spend time in nature
The American Psychological Association points out that there’s something intrinsically soothing and healing about nature – just spending time walking among the grass and trees can be uplifting and take away your anxiety and stress. Besides better mood, nature also improves your cognitive functioning. For extra effect, you can look into the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) or try some tree-hugging.
Pursue activities that benefit your mental health
You should partake in activities that benefit your mental health daily. Preferably, these should be built into your schedule. For instance, setting positive intentions for the day after you wake up, listening to music, art therapy in the afternoons, gardening, and a warm shower before bedtime can bring you peace and also a sense of security.
Connect with people in meaningful ways
Spending time with the people who matter to you is therapeutic. It brings you safety and comfort and naturally reduces anxiety. Having heart-to-heart conversations with your loved ones can reduce your burdens, for instance. Pursuing meaningful activities with your loved ones – like going on vacation together – can also help.
Connect with yourself
Time with other people needs to be balanced with alone time, says an article from Verywell Mind. You should turn off your phone and be in a distraction-free space, whether that’s outside or inside. Talk to yourself, like you would a best friend, and try to soothe away your fears and troubleshoot your stressors. Spending time with yourself can bring you more focus, reduce overwhelm (typically caused by overstimulation), and make you less socially anxious.
Start planning for senior living
Planning ahead for senior living allows individuals to have more control over their future, make informed decisions about housing options, healthcare needs, and finances, while reducing stress and anxiety, and ensuring a smoother transition to senior living that reflects their wishes, preferences, and values. It also provides greater peace of mind for loved ones and family members, who can be assured that their elderly loved one is cared for and living with dignity and independence. Take the time to start looking into senior living options in your area by reading detailed facility reports and reviews.
Don’t neglect your physical (and emotional) wellbeing
Keep in mind that your mental health is closely tied to your physical health. When you’re in good shape physically, it makes you more confident and gives you more energy. It’s easier to keep the anxiety at bay. Also, if you exercise regularly, it offers a potent anti-anxiety effect. Some examples of exercises that may help are swimming, Pilates, strength training, and chair yoga.
Seek out professional help
Last, but not least, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance, especially when you have severe anxiety accompanied by symptoms like panic attacks. A therapist or similar will be able to offer expert advice, an objective viewpoint, and medication, if applicable.
Anxiety is a normal part of life. It’s only when it goes overboard and affects everything is when it becomes a problem. Focus on looking after your mental well-being, including practicing healthful activities, staying connected with friends and family, spending time in nature, and planning for senior living.
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