Life can get busy. It can drive us to feel overwhelmed with our worries and stress can linger, and add up over time. Stress management is important for all ages, and especially seniors. One of the best known remedies for stress and anxiety relief is meditation. The number of physical, mental, and emotional benefits that meditation can provide seniors is significant and is worth considering adding to a routine.
Some may think the idea of meditation may seem silly, or that there is no way you can really clear the mind. Meditation, however, is not just simply thinking happy thoughts. There is a structure and strategic way of allocating thoughts to promote mindfulness. Mindfulness is known as the mental state that you are trying to achieve. It is described as being focused on the present moment and self-aware of one’s feelings, sensations, and internal thoughts. Meditation is new for many seniors, and if your loved one fits into this category, keep reading to familiarize yourself with the benefits that are offered and the various techniques.
Top Benefits of Meditation for Seniors
Slowing the progression of memory loss. Meditation promotes the production of cortisol, the stress-relieving hormone, as well as grey matter in the brain. Grey matter slows the aging of the brain. These two factors both contribute to better brain health, and assist in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
These physical changes, along with the reduced stress and anxiety that stem from meditation, can assist in boosting brain health. Depression is another known factor that contributes to an increased risk of memory loss.
Improving memory function. Not only does meditation provide a safeguard against memory loss, but it can also even improve memory. Meditation is known to stimulate the memory sanctions of the brain and work to preserve short and long term memory.
Improved digestion. As we age, our bodily functions change, including our digestive health. Meditation promotes deep breathing, which increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. This can assist with improved organ function and ultimately eased digestive issues, depending on the severity.
Control over emotions and feelings. Life can easily get the best of us. It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed, no matter how old you are. We gain more wisdom as we age, but we face new challenges. Loss of independence, the passing of loved ones, loneliness, and depression are not uncommon.
Meditation works to bring mindfulness, and a focused awareness towards our thoughts and feelings. It aids in working through difficult emotions by allowing us to process them without reacting.
Increased feelings of relaxation and overall calmness. In addition to battling negative thoughts and feelings, it allows for more room for positivity. The physical act of meditation offers a non-prescription solution. It brings seniors a clearer mind and assists them with the ability to navigate and organize their thoughts.
Added concentration. When our minds are overflowing with worry and stress, we become blinded to the good. Meditation clears the mind by emphasizing the need to let all worries fade, and focus just on the body and breathing.
Regular meditation will essentially train the brain to sharpen alertness. The region of the brain that is associated with producing negative emotions has been known to shrink from regular practice.
Meditation and the Senior Mind
Aging takes a toll on the human body both physically and psychologically. Each is affected differently from one individual to the next, but we can all agree that taking 10 to 20 minutes to slow down is what everyone needs. The first step is accepting the need for it, and taking the time for yourself. We get so caught up in what’s going on around us, that we often leave our own wellbeing on the back burner. Meditation helps highlight that self-awareness and the need for self-care.
Seniors and caregivers alike can benefit from the calming effects of meditation. A happy mind can contribute to a happy body. Mental health goes hand in hand with allowing the rest of the body to function properly, and allowing the spirit of an individual to remain intact. With the help of the internet, there are online resources like HeadSpace that can help us right in the comfort of our home.
At The Kensington White Plains, we value the importance of taking the time for relaxation through yoga, tai chi, and other activities through our life enrichment programs. Our fitness classes and rehabilitation services allow professionals to be on site and easily accessible. We promise to love and care for your family as we do our very own through achieving health and happiness. If you have questions about how we provide exceptional senior living, give us a call today.