While some seniors living with anxiety disorders require prescription medications for relief, others experience calmness and tranquility by taking a more natural approach. There are many DIY remedies that promote emotional stability. Following are seven natural approaches for alleviating anxiety.
1. Get Back to Nature
The Japanese call this approach a “forest bath.” When an aging adult takes a 20-minute walk through a wooded area, the scents and sounds of nature act to induce relaxation and interfere with anxiety and stress-related hormones.
2. Bask in the Sun
Just 15 minutes of direct sun exposure helps the body produce vitamin D. Low levels of this essential nutrient have been linked to anxiety disorders.
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3. Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Researchers from the Ohio State University College of Medicine found when participants in a double-blind study took 2.5 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for 12 weeks, the individuals experienced a decrease in anxiety symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids can ease anxiety because they lower stress hormones in the body, particularly cortisol and adrenaline. A six-ounce serving of salmon provides 3.75 milligrams of these essential fatty acids. Alternative sources include anchovies, mussels, and sardines as well as fish oil supplements, walnuts, and flaxseed.
4. Cease Harmful Thoughts
Therapists report that while having anxiety attacks, individuals often resort to catastrophic thinking or imagining the worst possible outcomes of events. Practitioners recommend breathing deeply and considering how unrealistic it is that the worst will happen.
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5. Turn Up the Heat
Increasing body temperature reduces muscle tension and alleviates anxiety. Warmth also changes brain chemistry by interfering with the release of stress-related chemicals. To warm up, an aging adult can sit in a Jacuzzi, indulge in a steam bath, or sit in front of a fire.
6. Increase L-Lysine Levels
The amino acid L-lysine is responsible for the production of neurotransmitters. Low levels of L-lysine have been associated with emotional and mental health problems. Seniors with anxiety can easily increase L-lysine levels by eating lean meat, fish, and legumes.
7. Use Mindful Meditation
Buddhist monks have practiced this ancient technique for centuries, but it has recently gained widespread acceptance, and therapists recognize mindful meditation can be extremely effective in treating anxiety. This type of meditation eases worries about the future and soothes regrets from the past by keeping the mind focused on the present moment. Clearing the mind and focusing on a pleasant event encourages the body and mind to relax.
For families living in El Dorado County, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (916) 358-3801 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.