Active Relaxation: How It Helps Relieve Stress Among Seniors

Have you heard of active relaxation for senior citizens? The term refers to a collection of tools and techniques seniors can use to: 

  • Strengthen their physical condition
  • Manage anxiety
  • Increase their quality of life and more

Are you or someone you care about no longer able to live independently? Enjoying retirement in the company of others is far easier in assisted living communities that offer amenities like active relaxation classes. If you are searching a database to find an assisted living facility in Horsham and the surrounding areas, these amenities should be a priority.

Below, We Care Senior Solutions looks at how access to certain activities will empower seniors to lead more enjoyable lives.

More About Active Relaxation

This type of relaxation is not a single practice. It is a collection of techniques from different therapeutic and spiritual traditions. The concept challenges the notion that relaxation is a passive behavior since this approach to relaxation engages the mind and body.

For example, intentionally tensing and relaxing muscles can achieve more than simply “doing nothing.” The physical and mental benefits of an active form of relaxation include the following:

  • Ease muscle tension
  • Improve circulation
  • Relieve psychological stress and more

Senior Relaxation Practices Should Be Active

Understanding relaxation techniques can make a huge difference in a senior person’s quality of life. Below, we list some of the techniques for informational purposes, though individuals will need to pair them with advice from a dedicated medical professional. It is important to consult your primary care physician with questions or concerns when considering the health effects of these practices.

Autogenic Relaxation

Autogenic means “generated from within.” Autogenic relaxation developed nearly a century ago in Germany as a way to relieve stress. It can teach seniors to be more in control of their bodies.

For instance, patients may assume a comfortable position and repeat specific words to promote physical changes. For example, they might want to enhance muscle relaxation, slow heart rate, relax their breathing, or lower their body temperature. Some practitioners consider this a form of self-hypnosis since self-awareness becomes an essential part of the process. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing Techniques

People of all ages breathe by moving their chest muscles in and out. However, diaphragmatic breathing is an alternative approach that taps into the diaphragm muscle beneath the lungs. Breathing from the diaphragm enables deep breathing, providing more oxygen to the brain and body.

As seniors master diaphragmatic breathing, they will learn the best way to position themselves and use their chest muscles and diaphragm together. The approach produces rhythmic movements within the abdomen that also aid digestion, reduce blood pressure, and elevate mood. A proper technique will maximize these benefits, as well as boost the effectiveness of the respiratory system.

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness involves a heightened awareness of mental and physiological processes that many people do not consciously think about during their day. It is a core component of many other practices in active relaxation because awareness of one’s thoughts and behaviors can be the first step in controlling them.

Relaxation Massage

Did you know that physical and psychological stress can tighten muscles, reduce mobility, and exert tension on the bones, tendons, and ligaments? Muscle tension can increase the risk of falls, strokes, and heart disease in people over 65. Luckily, in addition to self-directed relaxation techniques, a regular relaxation massage by a trained practitioner can offer reduced stress and the physical stimulation these tense muscles need to unwind.

Tai Chi

Classic Tai Chi is a centuries-old spiritual and martial arts practice. It uses a combination of meditation and slow movements to balance the mind and body. 


Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice promoting health and relaxation. While many disciplines require mobility and flexibility, gentle or seated yoga for seniors with limited mobility holds countless benefits.

Three Benefits of Activity-focused Relaxation

How does a more active approach to relaxation improve a senior person’s stress-fighting capabilities? It promotes physical, neurological, and mental wellness to reinforce holistic health in seniors.

Physical Benefits

Researchers still need to determine the clinical effects of this approach to relaxation. However, many of the preferred techniques are already proven to lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and improve lung function. These changes are particularly valuable for seniors with a health problem, such as COPD or heart disease, which impacts respiratory or cardiovascular function. 

Neurological Benefits

Massage and diaphragmatic breathing are just two of the practices that trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that improves mood and treats clinical depression.

What are the benefits of Improving circulation and respiratory function? Firstly, it will improve blood flow to the brain for better cognitive function. Secondly, the stimulation potentially combats the effects of cognitive decline due to aging.

Psychological Benefits

An active form of relaxation can give seniors a sense of agency, independence, and control over their healthcare choices. Whether they are living in a family home or an assisted living community, most seniors often worry about the future and their role in it. Each time a senior starts one of these relaxation techniques, they make a tangible investment in their future.

An Active Role in Improving Quality of Life Among Seniors

Intuitively, seniors enjoy life more when they feel empowered. The enhanced physical and cognitive function helps, as do resources that combat stress. Knowing healthy ways to relax will also help seniors to do the following:

  • Maintain social support structures
  • Learn new skills
  • Remain connected to family
  • Participate in community activities and more

Find Retirement Communities That Offer Active Relaxation Training Throughout the United States

Seniors and their families increasingly face challenging decisions about living arrangements. Don’t overpay for a community that does not meet your needs or, worse, risks the safety and happiness of a loved one. There is help available for you to locate and explore assisted living communities that support their residents with practices such as meditation training and yoga for seniors

Call We Care Senior Solutions at today for more about active relaxation and other information from a top placement agency in the Horsham, PA, area.

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