By Jason Lewis, Guest Author
As we age, taking care of our physical and mental health can be tough. It is common for seniors to feel like they’re losing control of their health as aging leads them to decline. It is normal for our physical health to decline as we age. Suddenly, we can no longer move like we once did, we are struck with various illnesses, and we have lots of medications we need to take. Not surprisingly, mental health is also a big problem for seniors. Not only might we have difficulty doing things we enjoy, but our social circle begins to shrink as our friends and family members move away, become busy, or pass away. However, there are a number of things you can do to take back control of your health both physically and mentally.
Watch for Signs of Mental Illness
Not so surprisingly, seniors are at high risk for mental illnesses such as substance abuse and depression. According to A Place for Mom, senior depression is a major public health problem as more and more seniors are suffering from mental illness. In our modern, fast-paced world, senior family members are often left behind when their children move away, and this can easily lead to a senior becoming lonely and depressed. Furthermore, seniors are also now on more medications than ever, which puts them at increased risk for prescription drug addiction, according to Aging Care. Keeping an eye out for the symptoms of these two disorders can help you significantly keep your physical and mental health in check.
With the rise of American families moving away from home in order to pursue opportunities elsewhere, many seniors are finding themselves away from their families. Even if their families only live across town, it can be incredibly difficult for seniors to visit after their physical health begins to decline. While many seniors have friends, as we grow old, we begin to lose them for one reason or another, which leads to an ever-decreasing social circle. This loneliness can lead to many health risks, including an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, and early death. Combating loneliness, then, can help you take control of your health.
One of the easiest ways to do with is by adopting an emotional support animal. According to Rover, emotional support animals lead to less loneliness, produce a calming effect in their owners, and can encourage their owners to stay active. If you’re beginning to feel the effects of loneliness, an emotional support dog can be very helpful.
Music is a great contribution to anyone’s everyday life. Music can greatly affect and change our mood. If you’re feeling down, an upbeat song is a great way to turn the day around. Not only is it easy to flip on a song, but with such a wide range of music available, it is extremely easy to find something that you like. Music can help us plug back in after we’ve been stressed and help us feel more grounded physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It can take our minds out of a toxic cycle of worry, fear, loneliness, and self-doubt.
Research has shown us that music stimulates mood through specific neural pathways. It can increase the amount of dopamine in your blood, which makes you feel more relaxed and at peace. Whether you’re experiencing a mental illness or simply not having a good day, music is a wonderful way for seniors to take control and influence their emotional state directly.
Our mental health and physical health are incredibly interlinked. Whenever we are feeling down, our physical health can suffer as well. To stay healthy, both of the spheres have to be taken control of and brought into balance. By following these tips, you’ll find it easier to stay healthy and take back control of your life.
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