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10 relaxation techniques for more stress-free independent living

Yoga leads to improved flexibility, less stress, lower blood pressure, and better sleep for seniors. There is some evidence that certain poses can help improve hearing loss or tinnitus

Relaxation techniques, when practised regularly, have been shown to strengthen the body's immune system among seniors and other age groups alike. They help you control blood pressure, improve the body's ability to manage glucose, reduce stress, and diminish pain from arthritis, chronic headaches and many more conditions which are part of the natural ageing process.

Yoga

When done regularly, yoga leads to improved flexibility, less stress, lower blood pressure, and better sleep for seniors. There is some evidence that certain poses can help improve hearing loss or tinnitus. 

Various yoga techniques include these actions and are medically beneficial. 

Tensing each muscle in the body, one by one, then relaxing them, one by one: Yoga takes the mind away from thoughts and images that trigger anxiety and enables a person to feel somewhat in control of his or her body.

Slow, rhythmic breathing with a focus on happy thoughts/places: This refocusing, away from pain and anxiety and onto positive and peaceful images, helps reduce pain and anxiety.

Meditation, focusing on a word, image or concept: This technique takes the mind off pain and helps lower blood pressure. This appeals to a higher power; relaxes and calms some people

Massage

During a massage, a massage therapist kneads the body into a state of relaxation to reduce pain, anxiety, stress and generalised exhaustion. It improves blood flow and leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Different people find various massage techniques helpful. A facial, manicure or a pedicure can deliver similar effects.

Enjoy a conversation with a friend

Connecting with the important people in your life not only boosts your mood, but also contributes to your overall happiness and wellbeing. Even if you don't have a reason to reach out, just say hello or catch up on the latest happenings.

Listen to soothing music or read a book 

Instrumental music is particularly effective for relaxation.  It can help decrease chronic pain, improve memory, and calm the body. If one likes the soothing sounds of a different genre, adding it to the favourites of a playlist is easy. 

Spending time in the garden 

Spending some time with one's hands in the soil helps improve the functioning of the heart, relieve stress, strengthen the immune system, and keep the brain sharp

Potential social benefits include more friends and exposure to sunlight (preferably early morning or late evenings to help the vitamin D intake). 

Go watch a movie 

Did you know that movie-watching is good for seniors? Relaxing by watching a happy or funny movie helps fight negative thoughts.

Crosswords and puzzles

There are numerous puzzle books that seniors can use to regain focus and be mentally agile.

Biofeedback 

Biofeedback uses electrical equipment to help a person learn how to control the body's heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. It is normally used to reduce pain and anxiety.

Tai chi

Tai chi promotes relaxation through slow total-body movement and improves concentration as well. It also helps social bonding as it often involves a group. 

Hobbies 

Hobbies and activities such as hiking, painting, knitting, reading and working out at the gym promote physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

These relaxation techniques for seniors are just a few ways to unwind and stay young in mind and body.


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Relaxation Dr. Kanchan Sanyal yoga

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