Relaxation Techniques for Depression and Anxiety in the Elderly


Time discusses a review of the literature published in the journal of Aging and Mental Health, examining the effects of a number of relaxation techniques on depression and anxiety in elderly people.

“(R)esearchers scrutinized 15 studies — 12 of them randomized controlled trials — from the past two decades that looked at different methods of relaxation,” reports Time. “They gauged the effectiveness of six techniques: yoga, listening to music, tensing and relaxing different groups of muscles, massage therapy and stress management training. The most effective ways to alleviate depression were yoga, the music intervention and the muscle tensing and relaxing exercise — called PMRT, for progressive muscle relaxation training. The music and yoga interventions were the best for anxiety. Yoga had the strongest staying power. Positive effects from the stretching, breathing and meditation exercises stuck around six months later in older adults.”

Yoga Helps Older Adults Battle Depression and Anxiety (Time, April 24, 2015)

Klainin-Yobas, Piyanee, Win Nuang Oo, Pey Ying Suzanne Yew, and Ying Lau. “Effects of Relaxation Interventions on Depression and Anxiety among Older Adults: A Systematic Review.” Aging & Mental Health 0, no. 0 (January 9, 2015): 1–13. doi:10.1080/13607863.2014.997191. (Abstract)


  1. Relaxation techniques can help you manage with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as cancer and pain. Practicing relaxation techniques can improve concentration, mood and reduce anger, frustration.

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