• 5 Easy Tips for Managing Stress for Improved Health

    5 Easy Tips for Managing Stress for Improved Health

Managing stress is important at every stage of life. But as we age, life events and health make it vital to have go-to stress management techniques to help us get through everything life throws at us. 

1.Breathing Exercises for Managing Stress

Learning to control your breathing is great for your state of mind as well as your blood pressure. 

Whenever you are feeling stressed, take a moment, and practice these breathing exercises:

  • Lie on your back comfortably and close your eyes. Inhale while counting to four, hold for one second, and exhale counting to four.
  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place hands on the low abdomen with fingers together. Inhale, feel fingers separate, and ribs expand sideways. Exhale, fingers come back together as the abdomen contracts.
  • Sit comfortably, either in a chair or on the floor, with your shoulders relaxed and your spine naturally erect. 
    • Open the mouth slightly with your tongue just behind the teeth. Inhale slowly through the space between the upper and lower teeth, letting the air wash over your tongue as you raise your chin toward the ceiling. 
    • At the end of the inhalation, close the mouth and exhale through the nostrils as you slowly lower your chin back to neutral.

2. Make Sure You Get Your Z’s

We know it, you know it, everyone knows it, but still many American’s aren’t getting enough sleep. This can cause a cycle of stress. Either you aren’t getting enough sleep and are experiencing stress-related burnout, or you aren’t sleeping well because stress is making your mind race. The important thing is to get ahead of the cycle or break it once it starts happening. To get better sleep, try:

  • Avoiding bright lights before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine at least four hours before bed.
  • Reduce daily napping.
  • Try to sleep and wake at regular times.
  • Make sure you are sleeping on the right mattress.

3. Exercise for Managing Stress

We don’t need to recite a long academic study to tell you many people aren’t getting their recommended amount of exercise. But not only is exercising regularly a great way to manage and reduce stress, but it also keeps you healthier longer as you age. For some quick and simple exercises try:

  • Jogging in place for two minutes
  • Stretching 
  • Yoga
  • Take a brisk walk

4. Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the cognitive practice of staying present and in the moment. Think about how many times during the day your mind goes into autopilot while driving or how often you daydream at work. When this happens, your mind will wander to the stressors in your life, Mindfulness practices mentally attending to what is currently happening to avoid obsessive thinking or worrying about the future. Not surprisingly, it is also great for managing stress. To learn how to practice mindfulness, you can:

5. Visit With a Friend

It might sound a little hokey, but staying social does wonders for your health. As we age, we might not be getting out to see people we care about as often as we’d like for a myriad of reasons. However, it’s important to maintain those close bonds to manage stress as well as preserve our emotions. Though we can’t always visit the people we care about, there are a number of ways to stay in touch, such as:

  • Phone calls
  • Send a text
  • Skype/Zoom/Facetime

The most important step in reducing stress is to get ahead of the problem. To learn everything about aging well, download our free A to Z Guide here.

Confident Living is a continuing care at home membership program, focused on helping you remain active and independent as you age in your own home. We serve the greater Cincinnati area. For more information, contact us online or call (513) 719-3522.