Stress exists for a reason. Our bodies are designed to produce stress hormones such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol to help us run from danger and protect ourselves. While these hormones can save our lives in short bursts, chronic stress can lead to several health problems such as headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Whether you’re a senior or you’re providing senior care for a loved one, here are a few techniques from Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington that can help relieve stress.
Regular exercise has innumerable health benefits. When you work out, your body produces endorphins (improving your mood) while reducing your body’s level of stress hormones. Exercise also improves your quality of sleep and gives you the opportunity to get outside and even meet new people if you take a class.
2. Connecting With Others
Everyone needs to have emotional connections with others, and this includes both seniors and those providing senior care. Physical contact with loved ones through hugs encourages the release of oxytocin, lowering your body’s cortisol levels. Make sure you’re scheduling time with friends and loved ones so that you’re getting the personal interactions you need to lower stress.
Slower compositions (especially classical) can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Listening to a song or symphony that appeals to you puts you in a better mood, and makes it easier to meditate or sleep, decreasing your stress level throughout the day.
Expressing ourselves is a need deep within humanity. Find a medium that you enjoy exploring and take the time to make some art every day. This can be painting or pottery, or even adult coloring books. Becoming engrossed in an artistic endeavor can be incredibly meditative and relaxing.
5. Better Eating
As with exercise, your eating habits impact everything you do. Avoid food items that spike your energy levels like coffee, sugary treats, and refined carbohydrates like bread and potato chips. Incorporate foods into your diet that can reduce your stress levels such as salmon, yogurt, eggs, walnuts, dark chocolate, and almonds.
6. Deep Breathing
There are breathing techniques known to help you relax. Dedicate three to five minutes per day to finding a quiet spot where you can breathe deep. Once you’re alone, take a full breath through your nose, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeating this simple process several times for a few minutes per day can make a profound impact on your stress levels.
Laughter is key to releasing your nervous system’s stress response and helping you relax. In fact, the physical process of laughing stimulates your lungs and muscles, while enhancing your intake of oxygen-rich air. Make sure you take the time for yourself or your senior care patient every day to find something to laugh about.
Getting older is stressful enough, so it’s important not to disregard this extremely important part of your health regimen.