People of all ages experience anxiety, but learning how to control your anxious feelings can help you handle everyday situations. A little anxiety is a good thing — it helps you act when you need to in situations that could be risky or dangerous. However, anxiety can become so overwhelming that it stops you from doing everyday tasks. LifeStream at Youngtown offers convenient, on-site amenities that can make life less stressful, but using additional strategies to master your anxiety can also help.
While anxiety can happen at any age, from kids to seniors, the causes of anxiety often change as you get older. Some potential causes of anxiety as you age include:
Some people also have generalized anxiety disorder, which means worry is present most of the time, even when there's nothing major to worry about.
Having several ways to manage your anxiety can help you feel more relaxed. Try the following strategies to help.
Knowing what causes your anxiety can help you prepare to deal with those situations. For example, if you realize that upcoming doctor's appointments trigger your stress, you can ramp up your anxiety-reducing strategies during those times.
You can also use this information to avoid triggers. If driving in heavy traffic causes you anxiety, you can use a ride-share service or the scheduled transportation available to residents of LifeStream at Youngtown. If the news makes you anxious, cut back on how much you watch.
If you have an ongoing situation that causes you stress, such as financial insecurity or a chronic health condition, create a plan for the situation. For example, if your finances are causing you anxiety, you might find ways to reduce debt or find financial assistance programs.
Keeping yourself physically healthy can help your mental health. Exercise, healthy eating habits and ample sleep can help you reduce your anxiety. Find fun ways to get in extra steps during your day to keep your body in shape, or take advantage of the heated indoor pool at LifeStream at Youngtown and enjoy the benefits of swimming. Improve your sleep by getting into a relaxing nighttime routine and improving your sleep environment so it's cool, dark and relaxing. Caffeine and nicotine are both linked to anxiety, so reducing or eliminating them from your routine might also help.
After you retire, you lose many of your daily routines. You don't have to wake up at a certain time, arrive at work on schedule or do other daily activities that work requires. As kids get older, parents no longer have certain scheduled activities, such as school and practices. Without a routine, some people feel anxious.
Creating a routine for yourself can help. You might schedule things each day of the week, such as cleaning on the same day every week or going grocery shopping on the same day. Joining a group for seniors that meets on a regular day can help with your routine and give you social interactions that can help.
Loneliness and isolation can be major sources of anxiety for seniors. If you live in a senior living community, become more involved so you can meet new friends. Joining various social groups or signing up for classes can also give you regular interactions with people who share some of your interests. If you have family nearby, invite them to visit you regularly. Video chat and social media can also help you stay connected if in-person visits aren't possible.
Having strategies to deal with your anxiety can help you tame those feelings quickly. Some options include:
If your anxiety is interfering with your daily activities, seeking help from a professional might be necessary. Talk with your doctor about your anxiety to get recommendations for dealing with it. Some health conditions worsen anxiety, so your doctor can check for those issues.
You might also benefit from seeing a therapist for your anxiety. Look for a therapist specializing in anxiety disorders or working with older adults if possible. Therapists can help you identify sources of anxiety and teach you strategies to manage those feelings. Anxiety medication can also be an option depending on your situation.