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Less Stress = More Happy in Retirement (Sponsored)

Before retiring you may have imagined a life free from all the stressors of a career and raising a family, but stress always finds a way to make its presence known. In retirement, however, there is more time to work around stress and make life as stress-free as possible. Here are some tips for lowering stress in your retirement years. 

Physical activity is a stress buster 

It’s a fact that exercise can help relieve stress. The science behind this is the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitters that elevate the mood and produce pleasurable feelings. Marathon runners call this the “runner’s high” but you don’t have to go to that extreme for a dose of endorphins. Any aerobic activity such as a game of tennis, jumping rope, swimming, walking, bike riding, and even just walking can all relieve stress and make you feel better. But there are more benefits as well.  

Exercise can: 

  • Help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your self-image. 

  • Make you stronger and more self-reliant. 

  • Improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. 

  • Improve flexibility so you can do more without help. 

  • Strengthen your cardiovascular system and reduce the risk of heart problems and stroke. 

So, how much exercise is enough? The National Institute on Aging recommends 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise like walking briskly, and muscle strengthening exercises like weightlifting at least twice a week. Any exercise is excellent though, so even just getting exercise three times a week will help keep stress at bay.


Mental stress relief tools 

The often-repeated platitude “just think about something else” when under stress actually proves true with the right tools. Among these is meditation which not only relieves stress short-term but also helps you build stress management skills. Meditation can also lower your heart rate, may help control anxiety and depression, improve self-awareness, and even improve memory.  

Mindfulness is another tool in the stress-fighting arsenal which provides many of the same benefits as meditation. Mindfulness is simply taking a little time to be totally aware of the moment, and focusing attention on thoughts and feelings right now without judging them or being overwhelmed. Used as a therapeutic technique, mindfulness can be done sitting, standing, or moving and helps train the mind to slow down and be still in the present, leaving the past and all its stress behind. 

Also helpful is guided imagery, which has been compared to taking a trip in your mind, daydreaming of sitting on a beach at sunset, standing on top of a mountain, or walking through a quiet forest on a sunny day. Known to have significant effects on stress reduction, guided imagery takes you to another, more peaceful place where you can relax, be calm and even experience the sights, sounds and smells of the place you imagine.  

Socialization to relieve stress 

Having a fulfilling social life is another way to combat stress and one that also makes life better all around. Friends can help share your burdens, allow you to talk things through, and maybe even find a solution to whatever is causing your stress. Plus, spending time with others can also bring about the release of a hormone called oxytocin that can lower anxiety and stimulate a feeling of calm.  

There are even more benefits of socialization including having fun and laughing. Laughing is itself an exercise that increases oxygen intake, stimulates the lungs, heart, and muscles, and releases those great endorphins that relieve stress. Since stress has a negative impact on the immune system, laughing can improve your immune system, boost your mood, and even help relieve pain. In the process, you might learn a few fun jokes to share and help others feel better too! 

Another way socialization can help beat stress is through helping others, i.e., being altruistic. Just the act of giving of yourself can trigger the release of oxytocin (sometimes called the “love” hormone) in the heart, as well as endorphins and dopamine, both of which play a role in feeling pleasure. And according to a study by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, older adults who volunteer regularly live longer than those who don’t and the risk of dying decreases with each hour of additional volunteering each month. So, the more you give, the longer you may live! 

Eliminate a lot of life’s stressors at Sonrisa Senior Living in sunny Roseville, California, an independent living retirement neighborhood offering a fulfilling and active lifestyle, diverse housing, and top-tier amenities. Find out more at or call 916-713-5471 to schedule a tour.


Roseville’s Newest and Most Exuberant Independent Living Community

1031 Roseville Pkwy • Roseville • 916-713-5471

Sponsored article submitted by Sonrisa Senior Living; photos courtesy of Sonrisa Senior Living.