Have you ever been in a stressful situation, like the moments leading up to an important presentation at work, and felt a little overwhelmed? Maybe to cope, you closed your eyes and took a deep breath. In that moment, you became calm and present in the current moment. This example is the essence of meditation, which has a variety of benefits for older adults looking to reach a higher level of wellness.
While it can be a little intimidating to start adding a new practice to your daily routine, once you know how to meditate and more about what it can do for you, that initial resistance will fade away. Join us as we explain the top benefits of meditation for seniors.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is the practice of calming your body and mind by helping yourself be more in tune with the present moment. Many meditation practices require you to sit or lie down and focus on your breathing. There are different meditation practices, with some having you focus on meaningful imagery to repeating a sound or word to help you stay focused. No matter which type of meditation you practice, this simple hobby has a variety of health benefits for seniors, which we’ll explore below.
3 Benefits of Meditation for Seniors
1. Meditation Increases Your Attention Span
Did you know that a regular meditation practice can help strengthen your attention span? A recent study showed that meditation has the potential to help lower the impact of age-related memory issues. As we age, it’s common for older adults to find themselves struggling to keep their memory sharp. Similar to other muscles in your body, meditation serves as a type of workout that can help keep your memory in shape.
The people in the study mentioned above went through a variety of meditation training techniques, including learning to focus on their breath, thinking about positive emotions, and more. At the end of study, the organizers found the older adults who meditated performed better at tasks related to focus and attention.
2. It’s A Healthy Way to Cope with Stress and Anxiety
Those who are retired still sometimes experience stress and anxiety due to life changes. Part of what makes meditation such a great option for seniors is that it’s a healthy way to cope with these feelings. By being more in tune with the present moment, you’ll become more adept at identifying any thought patterns that are bringing down your mood and better able to live positively in the present.
By improving your sense of self-awareness, you’ll also be better prepared to deal with external stressors you come across throughout the day.
3. Regular Meditation Improves Your Sleep
It’s common for older adults to struggle with some level of insomnia as they continue their aging journey. Learning how to meditatie is a good way to help calm down your body and mind before going to bed. Think of it as a relaxation technique that can help clear out any worries or racing thoughts when you’re trying to fall asleep. With stress as one of the leading causes of sleep issues in older adults, meditation will help you naturally release any tension you’re holding on to before falling asleep.
How to Meditate
Now that you know the benefits of meditation for seniors, it’s time to learn how to do it. Follow the steps below, and remember that meditation won’t always click on the first try, so be sure to give it a few chances.
Start by taking a seat in a calm and comfortable place. If it’s your first time meditating, you’ll want to set a timer for five or 10 minutes and make sure you’ll be able to stay in the seated position of your choice for that period of time. When your meditation begins, focus on the feeling of your breath moving in and out. If you notice your attention has started to wander at any point in the meditation, redirect your focus back to your breath.
During your meditation, try not to judge or obsess over your thoughts, just let them pass. That’s all you need to do to get started. For more detailed instruction, many instructional videos are available online that can help you begin and progress in your meditation journey.
Reach a Higher Level of Wellness at Garden Plaza of Florissant
Learning how to meditate isn’t the only way you can boost your lifestyle in retirement. Garden Plaza of Florissant is a premier independent living community that specializes in helping older adults make the most of their retirement. Our expert staff will take the time to get to know you on a personal level. That way, we can recommend activities and services that fit your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about the fulfilling lifestyle waiting for you in Florissant.