Anxiety

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 older adults. You can find meditation and yoga videos, DVDs, and CDs at many libraries, bookstores, or online.

Exercise

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 people are anxious, they 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 instructions on soothing relaxation and breathing.

Diet

Reducing caffeine intake or switching to decaffeinated beverages may be helpful for some people.

Natural Supplements

There are some natural supplements that have been suggested for treating 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.

 

Last Updated November 2020