Mental health plays an extremely important part in our overall well-being, and this becomes even more true as we age. With many seniors reporting feelings of loneliness or isolation, it’s becoming more important than ever to ensure everybody has access to ways to boost their mental health.
Whether through therapy, physical fitness, medication, or socializing, there are options available to help boost your mental health while aging. Fortunately, mental health conditions are most often considered highly treatable!
Whether you live alone, with family, or in assisted living or skilled nursing, there are options available to help you boost your mental health and help you have a high quality of life. If you’re struggling, it’s important to reach out to the people around you and get the help you need.
How to Improve Mental Health
It’s estimated that roughly 20% of seniors over the age of 55 experience some kind of mental health condition. Whether this is depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or any other condition, these conditions can severely impact the lives of everyone affected by them. With depression being the most prevalent mental health condition among adults, it’s becoming more important than ever to find ways to improve mental health.
Fortunately, however, mental health conditions are considered highly treatable through:
- Prescription Medication
- Regular exercise
- Following a healthy diet
- Living a healthy lifestyle
Through these methods, or a combination of them, you can work to improve your mental health.
How Therapy Helps Boost Mental Health
One of the most effective ways to boost your help is through therapy. A licensed therapist is able to help you develop healthy coping skills in a safe environment, allowing you to discuss and address any stressful factors in your life. A therapist can help you identify negative thought patterns and help you develop ways to change them to a more positive stance.
Therapy also provides you with an environment where you can discuss past traumas, stressful situations, or any other event that may be affecting your mental health, and the therapist can help give you the tools you need to help.
Through proper stress control and relaxation techniques, you can reduce how stress affects your life. Whether this is through meditation, journaling, or breathing techniques, you’re able to properly develop a way to cope with your stress.
They also provide the benefit of helping you develop your interpersonal and communication skills, which play into many aspects of your day-to-day life. By developing these skills, you can improve other relationships in your life, which can lead to a big boost to your mental health!
How Exercise Helps Your Mental Health
Physical exercise plays a bigger part in your mental health than most people think. Regular exercise is linked to boosting cognitive function, self-esteem, and confidence and promotes healthy sleep. It also helps prevent feelings of stress and combats many of the symptoms associated with many mental health conditions.
Exercise also releases endorphins in the brain (the feel-good chemical). This hormone relieves pain, reduces stress, and acts as a mood stabilizer. By creating an overall sense of well-being, endorphin release helps a great deal with boosting mental health.It isn’t just the mental health benefit, though. Adults over the age of 60 are recommended to get roughly 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week to ensure they stay physically healthy. By following a proper fitness routine, you’re bringing many benefits to your life!
How Diet & Lifestyle Affect Mental Health
Diet and lifestyle affect every part of your life. When it comes to your mental health, it’s important to ensure your brain is getting all the nutrients needed to be healthy. A healthy diet helps provide your brain with what it needs to help your mental health.
In fact, your gut is closely related to your brain. The bacteria and microbes that live in your gut help send chemicals back and forth from your brain and play a part in your hormone regulation. Things like gut inflammation or gastrointestinal issues often closely relate to mental health conditions due to this relationship—think of it as “when one gets sick, so does the other.”
Limiting substance abuse can also help boost your mental health. As we age, we may fall into certain unhealthy habits—whether using tobacco when we’re stressed or a few drinks after work to unwind—and these are best limited or avoided when possible. Alcohol and other substances affect the chemical composition of the brain and can disrupt your natural mental balance.
By following a healthy diet and limiting substance usage, you can make a big difference in boosting your mental health!
Do Senior Living Communities Focus on Mental Health?
Most, if not all, senior living communities have a strong focus on mental health. With over 20% of adults over the age of 55 struggling with a mental health condition, it’s becoming more important every day that there are resources available to help our seniors in every way possible, and mental health is no exception.
Many of these communities offer programs on-site where residents can pursue their interests, and socializing is promoted and encouraged at every corner. With a balanced meal plan, fitness facilities, and access to therapy options, the resources are available so every resident can pursue a fulfilled life.Here at Fremont Village Senior Living, we know mental health is an extremely important part of life, and we take pride in prioritizing mental health for our residents. Contact us today to see for yourself!