As we age, many of us will notice that our minds and bodies don’t exactly work like they used to. Whether it is recalling names or remembering where we placed our keys, there are times we wonder if our brain is having a senior fog moment or if we are suffering from memory loss.
While it’s natural to assume the worst, we need to step back and realise that many of our problems can be caused by stress and anxiety. Yes, even when we are older and wiser, stress can affect our bodies in some amazing and alarming ways. This makes it essential that we learn ways to keep stress at bay and look at ways meditation keeps seniors healthy.
7 Ways Meditation Keeps Older People Healthy
Many people find that meditation is beneficial, regardless of their age. However, many experts are finding that meditation just might be “the fountain of youth” for our brains and body. Listed below is just a small sampling of the many benefits older people can reap from practising meditation:
- Meditation can boost our memory.
- Deep breathing during meditation improves blood and oxygen circulation, which benefits all of our organs.
- Relieves digestive problems and symptoms.
- Regulated breathing increases oxygen intake, which can boost our immune systems. This helps us to remain healthy and fight off viruses, bacteria and more.
- It stimulates the area of the brain responsible for feeling good or happiness.
- Mental alertness and ability is stimulated. In fact, meditation can be more effective than completing a crossword puzzle.
- Wards off stress that can stem from chronic illness, disability or bereavement.
Helping Older People to Meditate
Now that we know how beneficial mediation can be for older people, it’s important that we find ways to incorporate this practice into our daily routines. Thankfully, meditation doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are a few tips we can embrace to help us breath our way to calmness:
Make it a Priority Everyday
This might sound overwhelming at first, but meditation can be done anywhere, at any time. Just make sure you put it in your calendar and set aside 20 minutes everyday to reflect, breathe and be mindful.
Keep Things Simple
Meditation shouldn’t be complicated or time consuming. Focus on breathing or sensations you experience everyday. For example, take time to notice the feeling of warm water washing over your skin, the soothing heat from the sunlight streaming through the kitchen window, or the rush of wind over your face on your morning walk.
Create a Happy Place
In your home or room, find a spot that you can reserve for relaxation and meditation. The key is to use this peaceful area when you need to calm your nerves or just seek a little mental downtime. This can be a comfy chair in the corner or a small room where you aren’t interrupted- anywhere that you can limit distractions and enjoy the quiet.
Let Technology Guide You
Obviously, we aren’t all gurus with expert knowledge on finding our inner peace. If you are unsure of how to begin meditating, turn to the Internet or a favourite podcast to find guided meditations. These journeys will help you relax and clear your mind without adding the stress of trying to learn a new skill.
Use Gemstones or Crystals
Today, health advocates are promoting the benefits of using stones or crystals to aid with meditation. For years, people have been laying stones or crystals on designated areas of your body to help activate a higher consciousness of the mind. This trend can help you be more aware of your thought and breathing process.
Take a Deep Breath
An easy way for older people to meditate is by focusing on their breathing. Take five deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth. This technique can help you to slow down and relax.
Run Some Water
Many of us have turned to taking a hot bath when we are stressed and need to wash away the anxiety of the day. Besides soothing our muscles, water can be very therapeutic. For older people, however, we can’t always take a bath when we want. BUT, we can tap into the soothing sounds of water to help us meditate. Run the tap or listen to a recording of moving water and focus on just listening to the white noise.
Shine a Light
When meditating, imagine an orb of white light hovering over your body. Next, picture the light floating down your body. As it passes over an area, envision the light relaxing your muscles. This is a surprisingly effective tool to use when you are feeling overwhelmed or need to calm down.
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