Relaxation techniques can be especially beneficial for some of the chronic illnesses common in older adults. Relaxation techniques are a safe and easy complementary therapy having been shown to help manage chronic illnesses such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The goal for relaxation techniques are to produce the body’s natural relaxation response, characterized by slower breathing, lower blood pressure, and a feeling of increased well-being.
Try incorporating these 5 techniques to your daily routine to reap the benefits:
- Yoga. Try gentle, low impact yoga to help relax the body and mind. Choose poses that feel comfortable, take it slow, and focus on the different sensations when you bring awareness to your body. There are many benefits to yoga for seniors, including improved flexibility, lowered blood pressure, less stress, and better sleep.
- Massage. Massage can reduce anxiety, help with chronic pain, and improve circulation. You can also try self-massage by massaging your own hands, neck, and head to stimulate the self-healing process.
- Be social. Research shows that social interactions provide an excellent way to boost your mood and combat stress. Share your day and offer mutual support to a friend or family member, or enjoy a conversation with one of our Happier at Home caregivers!
- Deep breathing exercises. Focus on slow, rhythmic breathing to help diminish pain and reduce anxiety. Let each breath fill your stomach, and exhale so your stomach caves in. Try extending the exhale for twice as long as the inhale to help activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
- Listen to music. Studies have shown that listening to classical music can help decrease chronic pain, improve memory, and calm the body. Audiobooks can also be used for guided relaxation.
Your loved one can use these relaxation techniques in their homes help decrease the occurrence of numerous chronic illnesses. Try them with your loved one on your next visit, encourage them to do them through an online class, or better yet, try one of these techniques with our Happier at Home caregivers!