By Christian Simmons
Keeping track of and maintaining your mental wellness plays as critical a role in healthy aging as staying physically active.
Mental wellness is critical to remaining healthy overall, a fact that’s especially true as you age. While there is always much attention on physical health for seniors — and rightfully so — mental health is an equally important issue to monitor.
It’s crucial to not underplay the importance of mental wellness to overall health. Mental health is deeply intertwined with physical health. Mental wellness issues can lead to issues with your physical health, and diseases and chronic conditions can further worsen your mental state.
There are many steps seniors can take to improve and promote their mental wellness, which encompasses everything from staving off anxiety and depression to staying mentally active and sharp. This article will address some of them.
Emotions and social connections. Seniors often experience anxiety and depression — commonly stemming from new feelings of social isolation, reduced mobility and chronic pain — which are serious issues that can make your retirement life much more difficult than it needs to be.
The health of your social connections is another determining factor for your overall mental wellness. Maintaining connections is important for seniors who often experience difficulty keeping up with friends and former coworkers after retirement.
Human beings naturally crave being around other people. Social isolation, a common experience for seniors, is a serious concern that can lead to a variety of mental health concerns.
If you are regularly down or being plagued by negative emotions, there are ways of getting help. Things as simple as changing your diet or getting more exercise can ease some of these issues, while other issues may be more involved and are best addressed by speaking to your doctor or a therapist.
Physical health. Experiencing changes to physical health is to be expected as you age, but the impact those changes have on your mental health may be surprising. Chronic conditions, in particular, can lead to mental health issues in seniors — especially if the condition is heavily altering how you live your life or what you are capable of physically and mentally.
Conversely, mental wellness issues can also lead to physical health issues. If your mental health is poor, you may be more susceptible to certain diseases and conditions.
Consider that adults with heart disease are two to three times more likely to be depressed than those without. Compounding that fact, research shows that depression dramatically worsens the prognosis. The link between mental and physical wellness is clear.
There are many avenues you can try when looking to improve your mental wellness. Being proactive can stave off serious issues like anxiety and depression while making a positive impact on your overall health and daily happiness. They include:
Eat healthy and get more exercise
Maintain social connections
Try mindfulness activities
To learn more, Christian’s complete article can be found at https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-life-leisure/healthy-aging/mental-wellness/
Author Mike Jacquart thanks Lungile Tshabalala of retireguide.com for providing this article.