Reducing stress is important at any age. Stress takes a toll on our body, and even more so when it becomes chronic and cumulative. Some individuals are well aware of some physical tell-tale signs: tightening of muscles, tension headaches, breathing problems, and even nausea. These are not all the symptoms.

Stress can cause breathing problems in patients with COPD, emphysema, and even in those who suffer from allergies. In fact, an article published in Science Daily, about a recent Ohio State University study, found there were more allergy flare ups in “individuals who had a greater negative mood.”  

In addition, stress also affects our cardiovascular health. In a recent study published in the European Heart Journal researchers identified a strong association of anger and stress with heart attacks and strokes. The chances for having a heart attack or a stroke increase more so in older adults who already have cardiovascular disease. “In the two hours immediately after an angry outburst, risk of a heart attack increased nearly five-fold and risk of stroke increased more than three-fold, the data from nine studies and involving thousands of people suggests.”

Wanting to reduce stress is not escapism. Training ourselves to find techniques that help diminish stress, and using methods, in turn, to become calm can provide for a healthier resolution.

The following are some ideas you may want to use to help reduce stress:

- Yoga classes offer flexibility, breathing, and balance exercises. If you have never done Yoga, you may want to start with Gentle Yoga. If you want a small class, check out the Golden Frog Yoga on Park Avenue, in Winter Park, Florida.

- Meditation also offers the opportunity to relax and calm down. Watch the ABC News Nightline program.

- Laughing Yoga offers relaxation techniques, and socialization opportunities. Our local Jewish Community Centers (JCC) in Maitland offers Laughing Yoga classes. Imagine the wonders of combining Yoga and laughing!

- Taking a 30 minute brisk walk every daily may help you lower blood pressure. Also, it is a relatively inexpensive way to stay healthy. Also, if you take your brisk walk at a local park, you have the advantage of getting some fresh air!

- Listening to music is both relaxing and calming. Certain types of music have been found to calm agitated dementia patients. You can also listen to music as you go out for a brisk walk.

- Gardening is another way to help you disengage from weekly stress. It offers a productive way to relax, socialize, as you help grow a nutritious and healthy garden. Some consider gardening as eco-therapy.

We hope this list offered some good ideas to help you and loved ones reduce stress. Let us know what works for you. In addition, don’t forget to read Senior Helpers blog Time Out! Stress Relieving Tips for Caregivers.

If you are interested in obtaining services for your senior loved ones, please do not hesitate to contact our Senior Helpers of Orlando office at 407-628-4357.  

Ana P. De Lane

Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member

If you happen to be going to Westford, Massachusetts any time soon, don’t forget to stop by and visit the Senior Helpers office in Westford. 



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