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Relaxation Exercises

Occupational therapists often receive referrals from doctors and other health care professionals to treat seniors suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and stress. According to editors Ann Turner, Margaret Foster and Sybil E. Johnson in the book, “Occupational Therapy and Physical Dysfunction: Principles, Skills and Practice,” occupational therapists may teach relaxation methods to help alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety related to certain physical and mental conditions. Specific relaxation methods may include guided visualization or deep breathing. Deep breathing exercises are easy to perform and can help to reduce stress and tension. To perform a deep breathing exercise, sit on a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Place your hand on your stomach and concentrate on your breath, trying to allow the thoughts to flow out of your mind. Take a deep inhale, pause and then exhale slowly. Practice this method of breathing whenever you feel tense or anxious.

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