Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
In addition to medications and therapy, the following may also help you relax and worry less:
Yoga or Meditation
Studies suggest that meditating or doing yoga on a regular basis may help you feel less anxious. Call your local Y, senior center, or a nearby gym to find out if they offer yoga or meditation classes. Many do—and many gyms also offer membership discounts for seniors. You can find meditation and yoga videos, DVDs, CDs, and tapes at many libraries, bookstores, or online.
Regular exercise, especially something repetitive like walking or swimming laps, can also help ease anxiety. Make time for regular exercise. If you usually exercise outdoors, consider visiting the local Y, senior center, or a mall (for some mall walking) when the weather is bad. If you have any concerns about exercising, you should always mention them to your healthcare provider.
Deep, Slow Breathing
When anxious, people tend to breathe shallowly or even hold their breath without realizing it. This makes them feel more anxious. Instead, breathe slowly and deeply. Your ribcage should expand, or stick out, each time you breathe in. If you feel anxious, try to find a place where you can sit for a few minutes, close your eyes, and slowly breathe in and out deeply. There are also many CDs available that provide soothing relaxation and breathing instructions.
Reducing caffeine intake or switching to decaffeinated beverages may be helpful for some.
There are some natural supplements that have been suggested for treatment of anxiety, such as Valerian root, Kava root, chamomile tea, green tea, Ginkgo biloba, lavender, and lemon balm. However, you should always talk to your healthcare provider before you start taking any natural supplements for anxiety, since they could have negative interactions with other medications you are taking.
Updated: November 2016
Posted: March 2012