19 December, 2018
Senior citizens by virtue of leading a ‘retired life’, must be free of stress. They would most probably have completed all their duties that usually put people into stress, like educating kids, saving up for a home and other stuff, etc. This is the general perception that most people carry with them. Older adults themselves may not realize that there are not paying attention to their mental health, and nor would the younger ones in the house, realize this. Most often, we talk a lot about maintaining physical health in the old age and totally ignore the psychological aspect of aging.
There are many studies conducted on the effect of the stress on older people, and it has been concluded that people living in nursing homes are indeed under more pressure. This is because, they have been institutionalized due to varying factors, the most important of which happens to be, either not having any own relatives or not being wanted by them. Interestingly, studies also say that even the urban older population are slowly, preferring to move to senior habitats or communities that cater to their needs, as they prefer to live their lives in a little comfort and peace. So, why this rising trend and how is stress playing a role in all this?
The Stress Factors
The senior citizens are usually plagued by issues concerning decreased self-image that happens due to aging, changed body appearances, illness and pain, fear, apathy, anxiety, a feeling of helplessness or hopelessness, etc. This could be more so, if the people are living alone, or are living together in a family and yet feel that they are not getting the required attention. It could also be that the family uses them for babysitting and other chores, etc., that may also be adding to the stress. This happens, if they are not fully fit or happy to do these chores, but find that they are not in a position to decline, making things stressful.
So, without anyone realizing it, there is an amount of stress that gets built up, and it needs to be addressed. If not, people can slip into depression and suffer much, and may not even know how or where to seek help, as they do not identify it as an issue. Hence, it is essential that seniors understand, that stress is an important factor in their life and it needs to be managed.
Meditation, without a doubt, is one of the best ways to counter stress, at any age. It is so, because, you do not have to fix a certain time or place to do it and also do not have to learn anything or buy any add-on tools to do this. All you have to learn is the meditation techniques of learning to control your mind and calm it down. There are a variety of meditation techniques available now and even apps are there that can help you with this.
It is important to meditate for at least ten to fifteen minutes in a day, just like how we say, physical exercise is a must in a day. The idea is to cut off from the world and all the issues and think about good things and dwell on them. This brings in positivity and a better approach to life. It also teaches you anger management to a great extent.
Reading is a very good distraction for the mind and it can take you away from the real world around you. Good books can entertain you, teach you as well as keep you engaged and in a happy state of mind. It keeps your brain occupied in a good way and thus helps in stress management. Of course, it goes without saying that you also learn many new things and it really opens up your mind and at times, even changes your thinking.
Music is a big healer of the mind, and for many people, it is one of the most preferred relaxation technique. All you have to do is listen to music and the best part is, you can do that, even if you are doing some other chores. If you can sing, nothing like it; just let go and you can feel your body relaxing as well as being in a happy state of mind for the whole day. There are even Karaoke apps available nowadays that you can use to sing along with the music. You can save the recording and share it your family and friends and it can make you feel better.
Hobbies are another good way to keep your mind occupied and you can use it as a distraction. It gives you a sense of satisfaction at having created something and puts you in a generally good state of mind. Painting, arts, and crafts, cooking, blogging, sewing, gardening, etc. are hobbies that can be easily made a part of your daily life. It also gives you excuses to socialize as well and that also helps in reducing stress.
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