Anxiety – you never know when it will creep up, wrap you in its arms, and refuse to let go. Physiologically, younger people have the ability to process and heal from a stressful situation, and can more appropriately work through reducing anxiety. On the other hand, older people have a higher risk of experiencing troublesome anxiety and it becomes disruptive to their everyday lives.
If you are a caregiver, it’s important to recognize the reasons behind your loved one’s emotions and how to help them. LifeFone would like to offer you five tips for reducing anxiety in your loved one.
Some of the reasons they may be experiencing anxiety is that they experience more losses. It could be that they are suffering with more chronic health conditions and pain. Unfortunately, their medications could also be exasperating their anxiety. Lifestyle changes are powerful tools when it comes to reducing anxiety.
One reason exercise works to relieve anxiety is that it stimulates production of endorphins and serotonin. Both are chemicals in the brain that elevate mood and improve depression. It can also boost your loved ones’ self-confidence, increase self-esteem, and create a sense of empowerment.
If your loved one hasn’t exercised in a while, or has limited mobility, getting them outside for a short walk can begin to help reduce their anxiety levels.
The brain works best when it has a good, and steady supply of nutrients. A diet rich in fresh, whole foods can help reduce anxiety. Make sure they are getting plenty of calcium, and drinking the right amount of water. If your loved one lives alone, they may be prone to eating ‘junk foods’. Everything in moderation, but it’s best to avoid too many sweets, sodas, and even gramma’s sweet tea!
Without constructive and regular sleep patterns, our body’s natural defenses against anxiety and stress cannot function properly. Sleep replenishes neurotransmitters needed to support a healthy mood. Making sleep a priority can help reduce anxiety. When they add daily exercise into their routine it increases the ability for a more restful sleep.
Controlling Thoughts and Emotions:
Negative thoughts breed negative thoughts. What’s worse is they can also upset hormonal balance, damage the immune system, and deplete the chemicals in the brain that are required for calm and happiness. We all can change our emotional responses to situation and circumstances, which in turn helps in reducing anxiety. When facing a situation that can potentially produce a negative response, help your loved one to see how they can change the way they respond. For instance, leave the situation or shift their attention elsewhere. Helping them see that they can have a ‘complaint-free’ day will lessen their anxiety, and in turn makes caring for them a more enjoyable experience.
Safety at home:
Being alone can cause your loved one to feel over anxious. By subscribing to a medical alert system in their home they can help them feel more secure about being home alone. LifeFone offers many options for them, and they can rest assured with one touch of a button, help is on the way, even when they are out for an afternoon walk.