7 Holistic Health Habits For Seniors Who Want to Live Longer and Feel Better

Holistic health habits for a Longer, More Satisfying Life

These 7 holistic health practices can help you live longer and feel better! Seniors, versed in Eastern philosophy and medicine are familiar with the concept of balance in life. The body, mind, emotions and spirit are all equally crucial elements to be considered for achieving a balanced approach to self-care.

Take a look at these 7 holistic health habits which have been proven to be very effective (and usually enjoyable!) Pick out one or two and test them out for yourself. Share your experience in the comment section.

Holistic Health Habit #1: Yoga

Harvard Health Publishing promotes yoga as an excellent holistic health practice that contributes to mental and physical well-being. Research suggests that yoga can be instrumental in improving sleep, encouraging weight loss, bolstering gratitude levels, and increasing a sense of happiness. There is even some evidence that credits yoga with slowing down the aging process on a cellular level. Research yoga moves that are specifically intended for seniors.

Holistic Health Habit #2: Meditation

There are many benefits attributed to meditation that qualify this popular mental exercise as a helpful aid for baby boomers suffering from pain, insomnia, and anxiety. The popularity of meditation is not surprising given its proven benefits for anyone willing to take the time to use this proven health tool.

Considering how many boomers suffer from insomnia and pain, meditation can provide a proven path to a better quality of life for many people suffering from these two common problems. A reduction in stress and an improved ability to focus are two additional benefits reported by boomers that meditate regularly.

Holistic Health Habit #3: Mindful Eating

While there is a great deal of debate about the best diet for weight loss, few nutritionists or scientists disagree about the importance of eating high-quality food that is comprised mainly of a plant-based diet. Incorporating generous portions of raw food elevates the health benefits. By eating raw food, the enzymes, minerals and vitamins aren’t compromised by the high heat required for cooking.

This type of diet also detoxifies the body. By focusing on whole foods instead of processed foods, you know exactly what you’re eating and can eliminate nasty preservatives and additives that compromise health. It is no secret that processed foods contain many harmful chemicals that often negate the intended benefits of eating.

Reading labels is necessary. Most seniors will need their reading glasses when they go to the grocery store. Whole foods should have very few ingredients, often listing only one or two on the label.

The more colorful your plate of food is, the better. It is important to remember that different colors offer different nutrients for a well-balanced diet.

Holistic Health Habit #4: Spending Time in Nature

YaleEnvironment360 claims that research indicates important mental and physical health benefits derived from spending time in nature. There is growing evidence that immersing yourself in nature reduces stress, promotes healing, improves mood, and reduces blood pressure. As if those aren’t enough good reasons to take a walk in the woods, there is also convincing proof that you can bolster your immune system by spending time out in the natural world.

YaleEnvironment360 reports that a study conducted on 20,000 people found that just two hours per week of time spent outdoors in green spaces equated to claims of good mental and psychological health. Two hours was an important and specific amount of time, with less time spent in nature showing no discernable benefit. Keep in mind, the two-hour weekly minimum can be cumulative.

Holistic Health Habit #5: Making a Concerted Effort to Reduce Stress Levels

It is no secret that too much, unmanaged stress is bad for your health and overall sense of well-being. While there is no proven way to eliminate stress from contemporary life, there are proven strategies for calming yourself down to minimize the negative impact.

Deepak Chopra’s comments reported by AARP recommend the following stress-reduction strategies:

  • Laughter – watch funny movies or videos
  • Massage – a self-massage or massage by someone else works
  • Sleep – get a minimum of 7 hours of restful sleep per night
  • Sex – from a trusted person in a healthy relationship
  • Restorative Yoga – this type of yoga is preferable for seniors
  • Exercise – walk briskly for 5,000 to 10,000 steps each day
  • Express your emotions – don’t suppress your anger or sadness
  • Visualization – focus intently on positive experiences of love and joy

Holistic Health Habit #6: Using Holistic Strategies Instead of Pills For Managing Pain

Popping pills to relieve pain should be a last resort since dangerous side effects are often associated with this common practice. While holistic healers may prescribe medications in some cases, they regularly recommend alternative pain management options such as diet modifications to control inflammation or exercise to fight pain.

Boomers are often surprised when they realize that the pain they are experiencing is caused by anxiety or depression. That’s one of the reasons why holistic healers are so effective. Since they treat the whole person, it is possible to think more outside of the box when addressing pain.

Acupuncture and massage are two other holistic solutions for pain management.

Holistic Health Practice #7: Cultivating Meaningful and Deep Relationships

As humans, there is little doubt that we all need loving relationships as a foundation for our mental health needs. Well + Good reports that elderly people who have lived a very long life claim that meaningful connections are key for happiness and longevity.

While relationships take some solid work and can be difficult at times, it is worth the effort. Be willing to say “I’m sorry” and “I love you” as needed. Say “thank you” often and whenever it makes sense.

By using these magic words when necessary to show that you value the relationship and are trying, many small disagreements and misunderstandings that could undermine an otherwise solid relationship will become insignificant and vanish.

Alice Goldstein
A Licensed Professional Counselor and Life Coach for over 25 years, Alice has written on a wide range of topics, touching on issues that matter most to seniors. Check out her article “Tips for Successful Marriages for Couples over 70” - a popular post on Marriage.com where Alice is an “Expert” author. Learn more about Alice Goldstein