Top Tips To Reduce Anxiety As We Get Older
Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. It can creep in at any moment, often when you least expect it.
In many situations, feeling anxious is perfectly normal – if you’re taking a driving test, or having a medical procedure. However, people can experience very different levels of anxiety and stress, and find it extremely hard to control their feelings of worry and unease. In some cases their anxiety can become more constant, to the point that it starts to affect their everyday life.
Because the stresses of health problems, losses and other major life changes build up as we get older, we tend to become anxious. Recent surveys have even suggested that one in five older adults suffer anxiety symptoms.Often, medical conditions common in older adults can be directly responsible for these increases in anxiety that we feel as we get older.
In addition to psychological causes, medical disorders common in older adults can be directly responsible for the anxiety we feel. These include heart disease, neurological illnesses, and other hormone problems. In some cases it can also be caused by the medication required to treat these illnesses.
In this article, we share our top tips for reducing anxiety.
Whilst this might sound rather clichéd, one of the most important steps can be accepting your anxiety. This acceptance and understanding of your feelings can make it much easier for you to control your anxiety and negative thoughts.
Try experimenting with different anxiety-reducing techniques until you find one that works for you, bringing you back to a state of calm
Mindfulness & Breathing
Mindfulness and breathing techniques are one method that can be extremely effective in controlling anxiety. By simply thinking about the present moment, taking in your surroundings and focusing on your breathing can help reduce stress and feelings of worry.
Deep breathing is another anxiety reducing technique that activates the body’s relaxation response. Try taking slow, deep breaths from the belly to the chest, gently holding your breath for a few seconds before exhaling. When in stressful situations, try repeating this several times until you feel more calm and settled.
Exercise is a very well known method of reducing stress and anxiety. Endorphins, which are commonly known as the ‘happy’ hormone, are released when exercising.
Research has also shown that exercising helps improve sleeping patterns, general mood, energy levels, stress and depression. It has also been found to reduce the risk of developing diseases such as dementia, as well as a number of other related issues.
Lastly, anxiety can often cause people to become negative and speak negatively about themselves.
Changing the way you speak to or about yourself can be very tricky. It’s something that will take time, but could have a big impact on how you feel and respond to stressful situations where your anxiety is very high.
Remember – anxiety is just a state of mind, you can manage your thoughts and take control.