Meditation for Seniors’ Health Benefits

meditation for seniors

For centuries, meditation has been one of the best ways of helping people feel more at peace. In recent years, meditation has become more popular due to its scientifically-proven benefits.

At Seasons Retirement, we organize wellness programs, including meditation exercises, for our residents to enjoy the numerous health benefits of meditation for seniors and help them live a healthy lifestyle.

What is Meditation?

Meditation has to do with cultivating awareness, calmness, and presence. It is a mental training exercise that helps individuals deal with stress by calming their bodies and mind.

During meditation, heart rate slows down, blood pressure decreases, breathing slows, and stress decreases.

Mindfulness in meditation refers to observing and accepting thoughts as they come without judgment. Mindful meditation helps to focus on the present rather than past situations. It is one of the many meditation techniques.

Types of Meditation

The most common types of meditation are:

  • Mindful meditation
  • Spiritual meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Transcendental meditation
  • Movement meditation
  • Loving-kindness meditation

Health Benefits of Meditation for Seniors

Meditation offers a myriad of benefits to older adults. Ultimately, it helps keep their minds engaged and relaxed. The primary health benefits of meditation for seniors include:

1.   Reduction of anxiety and stress

The most well-known benefit of meditation is that it reduces anxiety and stress. Chronic stress increases the risk of stroke, heart attacks, memory loss, and obesity.

Meditation also helps with one’s reaction to negative thoughts and reduces cortisol—the stress hormone. This is because the mind focuses on getting rid of inner thoughts that affect one’s emotional well-being during meditation.

Therefore, when one develops an increased state of tranquility and self-awareness, they’ll be able to manage any stress-related symptoms throughout the day. Plus, engaging in meditation helps older adults stay social and active.

2.   Sleep improvement

Mantra meditation and other meditation types that involve the repetition of sounds help to promote and improve sleeping habits.

Meditating before bedtime releases body tension and gives peace of mind. Meditation can help develop a relaxed mindset to fall asleep more easily.

3.   Improved digestion

When stressed, one can begin to experience problems in the gut, including ulcers, inflammation, and acid reflux. The benefit of meditation in cases like this is that it’ll help reduce stress, thereby alleviating digestive problems.

The deep and long breathing practiced in meditation also increases oxygen levels in the body and enables the digestive system to function more effectively.

4.   Attention span increase

Regular meditation practices increase the endurance and strength of one’s attention span. In addition, a report from the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement shows that meditation has a high potential of preventing any age-related cognitive issues.

Undergoing meditation training tests like yoga and mindful breathing helps improve emotional well-being. It also enhances the ability to perform tasks related to focus.

5.   Pain control

Since pain is linked directly to the mind, it can become worse when one is feeling stressed.

The best way to control pain is by mindfulness meditation because it relaxes the nerves and focuses on breathing. According to yoga practices, slowing the breathing rate so that the body will align with the rhythm in the nervous system can help moderate and alleviate pain.

6.   Controls depression

Mindfulness meditation also reduces symptoms of depression. It is one of the significant health benefits of meditation for adults.

7.   Reduction of chances of developing memory loss

Meditation reduces the chances of developing memory loss. In addition, research shows that meditation increases telomerase (an enzyme that helps reduce progressive diseases such as Alzheimer’s by 43%).

In addition, records show that people who meditate daily control the power of their subconscious mind, thereby allowing the brain to retain more information.

8.   Thoughts awareness

Meditation helps one become more aware of their thoughts and respond well to them.

Instead of an instant, rash reaction, meditation teaches how to put some distance between one’s mind and thoughts to make better decisions relaxed and calm.

In addition to becoming more thoughtful and less likely to react to daily slights, meditation for adults can help them make the right judgements based on their options.

Ways to Practice Mindful Meditation

Here are some ways to start practicing mindful meditation and be stress-free at home:

1.   Create time and space for yourself

Take at least 15 minutes every day to practice meditation. If one has agility or mobility issues, they should consider moving to a retirement community, where they will be provided with physical and moral support to practice meditation daily. Besides, they’ll get to enjoy group meditation benefits.

2.   Begin by lying down or sitting still in a quiet place

Choose a nice spot and sit still. Engage in deep diaphragmatic breathing. Continue exhaling and inhaling, and pay attention to other physical sensations that the body feels.

Sit or lie down in the correct posture to avoid experiencing pain after a meditation session.

3.   Completely clear your mind

Even though random thoughts can be distracting, clear the mind entirely by acknowledging these thoughts kindly and inviting them to relax. Feel the breath in the belly.

When ready to stop, take some minutes to thank the body and mind for taking time out for the practice and then enjoy the feeling afterward.

Bottom Line

To get deep into the meditation practices highlighted in this article, you can check YouTube videos on guided meditation for seniors. Welcomed changes will be noticed because of the numerous health benefits of meditation for seniors.

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