The Winchester Journal

Mindfulness and Meditation: Stress Relief for Seniors

Healthy Aging | 07/17/20


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“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

Stress is not a new concept. It seems like it’s something that has followed us all our lives, lurking around the corner, waiting for something to finally overwhelm us. Since it’s a part of our lives at any age, we’ll all experience stress — so it’s important to know how to handle it when it happens. Relaxing activities and recurring routines can play a major role in reducing stress and its negative effects on our minds, bodies and behavior. Learn more about stress management techniques such as mindfulness and meditation below.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress

Stress and aging seem to go hand in hand, even as an older adult. Try these five activities to help you reduce stress and enter a calmer space.

  1. Brew a cup of tea.
    What’s more soothing than sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of your favorite tea and a good book? That cup of tea does more for you than just excite your taste buds, too. Research has found that it can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and half of a cup of green tea may lower the risk of depression.
  2. Deep breathing exercises.
    When you experience stress, your body goes into its fight-or-flight mode. This “setting” results in a rapid heartrate and quick, shallow breathing. Compare that to how you breathe when you’re fully relaxed: much deeper and slower. When we practice deep breathing, we trigger our parasympathetic nervous system to create a relaxation response.
  3. Practice meditation.
    Many studies have shown us the benefits of mindful meditation, including the ease of pain. If sitting cross-legged on the floor while chanting a mantra doesn’t appeal to you, there’s no need to worry — meditation has many different techniques you can choose. It can even be as simple as focusing on clearing your mind.
  4. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
    It can be a vicious cycle: stressing can lead to a lack of sleep, and less sleep means you stress out further. Getting a good night’s sleep regularly can help to prevent stress before it starts.
  5. Get moving.
    Exercise helps fight cortisol levels in the body. It also stimulates the release of endorphins — the feel-good hormones. If you need to unwind or destress, go take a walk outside, a dip in the pool or participate in an exercise class.

Reduce Stress with the Amenities at Winchester Gardens

If you’re looking for ways to practice stress relief at Winchester Gardens, we have many amenities available to help you.

  1. Unleash creativity in the art studio.
    Exploring your creative side is a way to connect with your feelings and emotions, helping to take control of your stress. Learn a new technique or refine your current skills in our art studio.
  2. Spend time with nature.
    Exercise and fresh air can do wonders for stress relief. You can practice mindful meditation with the walking paths on the campus grounds designed by the same architects responsible for Central Park.
  3. Learn a new hobby — like woodworking.
    Focusing on a new hobby allows you to shift your attention from things that worry you to an exciting activity. Our woodworking shop can teach you a new skill like wood carving or furniture repair.
  4. Unwind with a good book.
    The right book can transport you into another literary world, far away from the things causing you to stress. Grab your favorite classic or a brand-new best seller from our onsite library.
  5. Take in a movie.
    Much like books, movies can invite you into another time and space, helping you to take your mind off things. Winchester Garden’s movie theater offers you a place to grab some popcorn and relax with a film.

Would you like to learn more about Winchester Garden’s relaxing community atmosphere? Contact our team today.