Meditation can provide some incredible physical, mental, and emotional health benefits for people of all ages.
However, it is particularly beneficial for older adults who may be dealing with chronic health conditions, stress, depression, and anxiety.
This article will explain how meditation works before sharing a few of the key benefits of meditation for older adults.
You will be amazed by how much meditation can improve your quality of life and mental clarity.
What is meditation?
Meditation involves focusing the mind on a particular object, activity, or thought to achieve mental clarity and a calm emotional state.
The act of meditation triggers a variety of psychological and physiological responses.
Some of these changes include a slower heart rate, slower breathing, lower blood pressure, improved digestion and mental clarity.
Meditation is often used to reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and feelings of depression.
It can also bring about a sense of inner peace, wellness, and improved perception.
There are many forms of meditation, including:
Mindfulness meditation is becoming one of the most popular forms of meditation.
It involves focusing your mind on on the present moment in a non-judgemental way.
It is often used for stress reduction and forms the basis of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Researchers have found that there are many psychological and physiological benefits that can be obtained by practicing mindfulness meditation regularly.
This form of meditation usually involves focusing on a single word, idea or feeling.
It is often practiced by Buddhist monks who repeat a mantra during their meditation.
Guided imagery meditation involves focusing on a specific mental image.
It is usually something calming or relaxing like a deserted beach or tropical oasis.
A body scan meditation involves focusing on the sensations in different parts of the body one at a time.
Participants will focus on all of the sensations they can detect including the pressure, temperature, and pain/numbness affecting each part of the body.
Exercises like yoga, tai chi, and qigong use focussed breathing and slow physical movements to induce a mental state very similar to meditation.
How does meditation can benefit older adults?
Here are some of the many ways that meditation can help seniors:
A more focused mind
All adults experience cognitive decline as they get older.
This is due to the hippocampus region of the brain shrinking over time.
This is why seniors often struggle to focus on certain tasks or to remember the names of people they know.
Meditation can help by sharpening the mind.
It has been shown to improve focus, creativity, and cognition.
Slower Alzheimer’s disease progression
Alzheimer’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease, affecting about 1% of people over 65 years of age.
Multiple studies have found that meditation can the slow the progression of this illness, allowing seniors to enjoy more of their golden years.
Improved digestive function
Most forms of meditation have a strong focus on breathing and encourage participants to take long extended breaths.
This practise helps older people boost the amount of oxygen in their blood and can significantly improve digestive function.
Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common medical concern amongst older people.
An analysis of several studies found that meditation and yoga can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
This is a particularly useful benefit of meditation for older people suffering from heart disease.
It is common for older people to become sad, angry, or pessimistic.
These feelings sometimes occur because of the health challenges and social isolation that older people often face.
Meditation is a great way to combat these negative feelings and replace them with positive emotions.
Seniors who are suffering from stress will experience more inflammation in their bodies.
This can worsen certain health conditions including arthritis, asthma, and Crohn’s disease.
Meditation helps by reducing stress levels, which in turn reduces inflammation.
It’s common for older people to become lonely.
This happens for many reasons including the death of loved ones, problems communicating with others, and social isolation.
Attending meditation sessions with other seniors can help them push away feelings of loneliness and spend time with other people.
Thanks for reading The Benefits Of Meditation For Older Adults.
If you want to learn more about meditation and mindfulness, subscribe to the blog or follow us on social media.