Meditation is a practice through which we train our minds to practice awareness and mindfulness to reach a peaceful mental state. It has risen in popularity lately due to its scientifically proven benefits and is especially useful to age with grace. Whether you want to become less reactive, be more focused or want to improve the relationship with those you love, there are many reasons why you meditation for healthy ageing is something you should do!
What is meditation?
The beauty of meditation lies in its simplicity and accessibility to people of all ages. Many people think that it usually involves monk-like concentration in dimly lit rooms. When in reality that’s not true at all! All you need to meditate is to give yourself some dedicated time to focus and concentrate on things such as your breath, a phrase that you repeat in your mind or a certain physical sensation.
Just like any other skill in life, meditation is something that has to be learnt. It takes time and patience to master it. There are many different types of meditation, and it’s all about finding the one that works for you. For example, mindfulness meditation involves letting thoughts come and go while you observe any patterns, and focused meditation means concentrating on any of the five senses to help focus your attention.
There are many tools out there to help you meditate. It’s also something that you can either do alone or with a group. There is no wrong or right way to meditate, the most important part is to find a practice that meets your needs.
Benefits of meditation for seniors
As you age, you have more time to spend on the things you love to do. Whether that’s gardening, reading or listening to music, there’s a plethora of activities that you can now focus on. However, that also means that your mind isn’t as easily distracted by other matters such as work, which may leave your thoughts to wander. When you find yourself in that state, practicing meditation will help to keep your mind relaxed and engaged so that you can be more present.
There are some fantastic benefits of meditation for healthy ageing, some of which include:
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
When you meditate, you practice self-awareness. You acknowledge which thoughts come and go in your mind so that you can have a clearer perspective on the way you think. This is an extremely powerful tool, as you can then learn how to control those negative thoughts. In fact, research has shown that consistent meditation reprograms neural pathways in the brain, helping us to regulate certain emotions such as stress and anxiety.
When you practice meditation, you reach what is called a ‘flow’ state. This is where your mind is in complete harmony with itself. In this flow state, you are training your mind to stay focused for a certain period of time. This is just like the equivalent of weightlifting for your attention span! Studies have shown that people who meditate for short durations are more focused than individuals who do not meditate at all.
Sleep disturbances are more prevalent in older adults and often go untreated. According to a study, it was shown that mindfulness meditation had some clinical usefulness to provide a remedy for moderate sleep problems. The research found that through participating in regular meditation, older adults experienced better sleep quality.
One of the most important things in life is to take care of your mind! With meditation, you can learn to control your thoughts to improve your wellbeing and find inner peace.