10 Tips to Improve Mental Health for Older Adults

10 Tips to Improve Mental Health for Older Adults

As you age, your mental health becomes more and more important. While your body might be slowing down, it doesn’t mean your mind has to! Use the tips below to help you stay sharp, happy and healthy as you get older.

1. Exercise

Exercise is extremely important for not only your physical health, but also your mental health, too!

Exercising increases your heart rate, which means more oxygen is pumped to your brain. This helps with the growth of brain cells.

A study from the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association found that just one 60-minute dance class a week can reduce levels of depression. Get active and start feeling better!

2. Eat Healthy

Think of your mind as car engine and food as fuel. You want to make sure you’re putting the right fuel into your car so that it runs properly, and the same applies to your mind!

High quality, healthy foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it. Better snacks and meals are also shown to provide people with a more balanced, positive mood.

3. Stay Social

Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 43 percent of older adults report feelings of loneliness.

Consider getting involved at a community center or other organization near you. Many of them offer a variety of activities and classes that will not only keep you entertained, but also connect you with other people!

4. Keep Family and Friends Close

As we get older, family and friends often move further away or have additional obligations that take up more of their time (starting a family, a new job, etc.). Be sure to stay connected with family and friends by inviting them over or visiting them as often as possible, attending annual family gatherings, and using social media.

5. Go Back to School

Continuing to challenge your brain is both fun and beneficial. Learning new information keeps your mind sharp, and it allows you to either develop skills you’ve never had time to or just broaden your spectrum of knowledge.

There are many colleges and universities that offer free courses to adults 60 and older. In fact, there’s at least one in every state!

6. Brain Games

Don’t feel like going back to school? There are other ways to learn – and keep your mind stimulated, too!

Brain games are a fun and interactive way to constantly challenge yourself and improve your cognitive ability. Learn more about games and other brain exercises that can help!

7. Get a Pet

Pets are loving – and therapeutic. Having a furry companion can help reduce stress, lower levels of depression, and keep you company when you’re feeling lonely. They can also help you with exercising and getting fresh air! Not to mention, they’re adorable, which is always a plus!

8. Volunteer/Get Involved

Volunteering not only allows you to socialize with others and stay active, but also adds more meaning to your life. The pleasure and positive emotions that come from helping other is immeasurable.

9. Think Positively

Positive thinking helps with managing stress and can lead to the betterment of your overall well-being. While it may seem easy, developing your mind to think positively can be difficult for many.

It all starts with reflection and self-awareness. Reflect on everything you have in life to be appreciative for (family, friends, health, etc.) and cut out any negative self-hate and other distractions that may cause you to not have a positive outlook.

Being positive has been shown to increase life expectancy, improve immune systems, and lead to better cardiovascular health.

10. Get Rest

Difficulty sleeping is a serious issue in the older adult community. In fact, insomnia affects almost 50 percent of adults 60 and over. A lack of sleep negatively impacts your ability to think and your memory, as well as worsens your mood. Over time, this adds ups and can cause damage to your brain in addition to other very serious health issues.

Live Actively and Stay Sharp

Mental health is extremely important for your overall well-being, especially as you age. Use the tips above to ensure you feel young in spirit and you keep your mind sharp!


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