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Best Ways for Seniors to Boost Their Mental Health

Tips for Seniors to Boost Mental HealthMany senior adults seeking independent living at San Antonio and beyond are at risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression and dementia. Unfortunately, mental health tends to deteriorate with age. However, the good news is that, one can keep his or her mental health in check by staying active mentally through a number of activities.

Activities that boost mental health for independent living San Antonio seniors

There are plenty of things that seniors can do to maintain their mental health. This includes playing games, getting a pet, learning something new, turning to technology to stay in touch, staying active and socializing. Socializing involves calling on friends, meeting with your family and socializing at social centres.

  • Playing games

Research has shown that gaming may be able to treat mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Puzzle games, for instance, have been proved to reduce symptoms of these two mental conditions. Video games too are being used to treat a number of mental illnesses. Video gaming is known to have a positive effect on our memory. Seniors may be less interested in video games, but studies have shown that those who play these games improve their mental health. This is because they help them engage in stimulating activities and learning new things. By engaging in brain stimulating activities, they are less likely to develop conditions such as dementia. Researchers have also found that gaming increases brain matter and that those who play video games show better cognitive functioning than those who do not play.

  • Getting a pet

Pets can go a long way in keeping your mind, spirit and body active. Walking your pets, especially dogs, outside exposes you to sunlight. Sunlight is known to help our skins synthesize vitamin D which has both physical and mental benefits. Being outside also gets you to interact with nature and this can be really calming. Walking keeps us physically fit as well, and when your body is strong, you are less likely to develop mental illnesses. Grooming a pet is not only comforting to the pet, but to you as well. Concentrating on its fur, the heat that radiates from its body and its breathing pattern helps to release oxytocin, a hormone known to relieve stress and anxiety. Pets are great companions and they lessen loneliness.

  • Learning something new

Learning new things is linked to the mental well being of a person. According to recent research, learning new skills impacts our brains positively. It helps in sharpening focus, refining memory as well as boosting our overall mental well being. Moreover, learning is essential in building our confidence and self esteem which in turn makes us happier. Learning a new hobby can be a good stress reliever for a senior. This is because it helps us to break out of our normal behaviour and also gives our brains something new to think about, other than our old thoughts. It also incorporates fun into our lives. For instance, learning how to dance keeps body and mind engaged. It involves coordinating our minds and bodies and thus improves our mood.

  • Turning to technology to stay in touch

Technology has great potential for improving the quality of life in senior adults. It helps them stimulate their brain, improve their mood and increase connection with other people. Technological advancements like social media enable us to stay in touch with our family and friends. Seniors can turn to social media to help them connect with their children or grandchildren in different parts of the word. This will help to eliminate the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Advancements in technology also help in delivering of healthcare services to older adults. Remote monitoring is one such advancement that helps seniors monitor their health status easily.

  • Staying active

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental well being. It is known to be a great way of relieving stress. It increases the concentration of norepinephrine, a hormone that moderates the brains response to stress. It also makes our brains release hormones that create the feeling of happiness. Research shows that regular exercise alleviates some symptoms of depression.  Staying active keeps you outdoors for a longer period. This in turn takes your self esteem to a higher level. You will also acquire vitamin D that can lessen the likelihood of being depressed. Exercise increases chemicals in the brain that prevent the degeneration of a part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory. A little exercise can help people with anxiety and, calm its symptoms due to the chemicals released during and after. Cardiovascular exercise has been known to create new brain cells, thus improving your overall brain performance.

  • Socializing

This is a sure way to improve your mood and lower the risks of getting dementia. Being around people can help ease the feelings of depression. By interacting with others, we stimulate our brains. Many studies show that socializing provides mental benefits like good memory and improved social behaviour. It also protects the brain from neurodegenerative illnesses and hence prevents mental decline.

Seniors should always ensure that they keep their minds engaged and active in order to keep their mental health in check.

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