How Can the Elderly Improve Mental Health?
Good mental health is one of the pillars of one’s overall well-being. According to research, by changing their lifestyle and daily habits, the person can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 30 percent. Also, regular exercise, stress management (mindfulness meditation and relaxation, etc.), a healthy diet, a good sleep, mental stimulation, and social engagement can reduce the risk of mental illness and help protect the psychological well-being of the elderly.
- Regular Physical Exercise
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing dementia and improve mental health at an older age. Regular exercise protects against the cognitive decline typical for dementia by stimulating the brain’s plasticity, allowing it to make new neural connections and keep up the existing ones.
- Stress Management
Effective stress management helps us overcome stress in your life and enjoy a balanced and happier life. Stress management can also improve one’s resilience – the ability to keep going under pressure and bounce back from stress.
The most effective stress management strategies include relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi, or spending time in nature.
- Cognitive Training
Different studies show that cognitive training can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Challenging one’s brain by continually learning new things, practicing memorizing techniques, playing strategy games, and similar, can boost the brain plasticity and flexibility and reduce the risk of dementia.
- Social Engagement
Every human being strive needs social stimulation to thrive. Staying socially active helps protect an aging person against dementia, alleviates anxiety and depression, and boosts mood and optimism.
- A Healthy Diet
Studies show that a diet rich in healthy omega-3 fats, whole grains, vegetables, fish, and olive oil, also known as a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and mental health disorders.
On the other hand, sugar, fat, alcohol, and smoking can increase the risk of stroke, and heart disease, atherosclerosis, and the damage to the nervous system.