If you are feeling down about getting older, then it is important that you know that it is natural to have those feelings and you are not alone. Aging is a part of life, but we aren’t always happy about it. Our bodies change, our friends may go away, and the future is uncertain, so there is a lot to think about. The good news is that by understanding our mental health and taking the proper steps to create positive thoughts, we can feel better during our older years. Let’s talk a bit about this issue and what you can do today to feel better.
Mental Health as We Age
As we get older, it is important to think about our mental health and try our best to stay in good spirits. Depression can be natural as we age as science shows that there is a link between older age and deteriorating mental health. Sometimes, it is an ailment that we cannot control, like dementia or changes to our nervous system. However, as we get older, it is also likely that depressive symptoms crop up.
It is not hard to imagine why many older people may start to feel depressed. As we age, we see our bodies change in ways that may make us upset, we see family and friends pass on or move away, and as we near retirement, we may not have as much money as we did in the past. This can all add anxiety to our lives. However, we must also remember the good parts of our lives and try to look at the bright side so we can live happier lives.
In addition to waking up every day in a better mood, it is important to fight depression so you can stay healthy in other parts of your life. In recent years, depression has been tied to many physical ailments, including low energy and fatigue, trouble concentrating and making decisions, and even chronic pain and ailments like heart disease.
The point is that it is in your best interest to nurture your mental health as you age.
Improving Your Mental Health as You Get Older
As we get older, it is important that we prioritize our mental health so that we can avoid the chances of depression and other conditions. One reason why you may not be feeling your best is that you are not getting enough sleep. When you sleep, your body works to heal your immune system so you can avoid getting sick. Even better is the fact that sleep helps us to rest our minds, so we can wake up the next morning feeling mentally refreshed and ready to take on a new day.
When we get older, it is also natural to feel depressed about the changes in our bodies. Although you cannot reverse time, you can exercise to help yourself feel better. Even 20 minutes of exercise every day can do wonders to help you maintain muscle mass and put your heart rate in the right place. On top of that, exercise can also help nourish your skin cells so they can regenerate and provide a healthier appearance. Plus, when you exercise, you get a chance to clear your head and think through your problems, so you feel better overall.
Another way to occupy your time and feel a sense of accomplishment in your life is to start a new hobby. Fun pastimes, like bird watching or building complex puzzles, can keep your mind occupied so you are not dwelling on your age. A hobby like gardening can be incredibly beneficial and rewarding because you can nurture a single seed into a large, beautiful plant and know that you helped that flower thrive. Incorporating hobbies into your daily routine helps you build better self-care habits.
When we get older, it is also natural to feel a bit more isolated and lonely than we used to, as friends may pass on or move away. We cannot spend time dwelling on that fact. Instead, we should embrace the family and friends that are still with us and have some fun. Studies have been conducted that show that the more social we are as we get older, the less likely we are to show signs of cognitive decline, including dementia.
Essentially, when you go out and spend time with friends and try new things, you require your brain to continue to function at a high level. When it comes to mental health, you need to work your brain like a muscle, and if you don’t work it, then it won’t stay healthy.
It is important to avoid the desire to stay isolated because loneliness is connected to depression, and avoiding engagement with others can even improve your chances of early death. Get out, call up your friends, and go see the world. Take a walk through the park or walk down the beach so you can breathe in that fresh air and realize how wonderful the world can be. Even if you are unable to get around as easily as you used to, make it a habit to visit a friend and just be there for them. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can nurture your mental health as you get older and stay sharp even in your senior years. Consider the tips discussed today, and you will wake up every day in a brighter mood.
Guest post by Luke Smith