What is Meditation?
The news on the wonders of meditation has reached all corners of the world these days. It has become overwhelmingly popular because of its simple yet effective techniques and strategies. Adults and adolescents are raving about the awesome benefits of meditation on their sleep, weight, and their work and family life.
The old, on the other hand, are particularly focused on mindfulness meditation, a type of meditation that involves being motivated and aware of the present moment in order to pay attention to one’s own feelings, thoughts, and senses and appropriately manage them. More and more studies suggest that seniors greatly benefit from this practice and have shown to improve their quality of life. Here are some of the positive results of mindfulness meditation on older people.
What Do Seniors Get from Mindfulness Meditation?
- Alleviates depression, anxiety, and stress. Because mindfulness encourages the old to focus on the good things that they possess in the present, they are also inspired to look on the optimistic side of things, thereby reducing their stress and depressive feelings.
- Decreases the progression of chronic illnesses. The practice of mindfulness has proven to sharpen the mind of the old. This concept has been supported by evidence of older people improving from their Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illness such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and dementia.
- Inspires the old to be happier. When individuals practice mindfulness, their prefrontal cortex awakens, subsequently activating the other parts of the brain, which are also responsible for regulating positive emotions. Feeling happy is very important for the older population, and this is an important factor for the improvement of their quality of life.
- Improves digestion and blood flow. The breathing techniques that are performed during a mindfulness session evokes an increased activity in the digestive system, helping older people improve bowel movement and increase circulation in the stomach and intestines. There has also been an increase in blood flow to all parts of the body, an effect that is greatly beneficial to the physical well-being of the old.
- Improves mood and feelings of loneliness and lengthens life. In a study done by researchers at UCLA, a group of seniors who participated in a mindfulness meditation for eight weeks reported a significant reduction of loneliness that they felt than when they didn’t participate in the practice. Their mood also greatly improved, giving them a sense of hope and optimism. The overall study also showed a substantial decrease in mortality rates in those age groups who meditated.
Mindfulness for Life
Nancy, 66 and a long-time fanatic of mindfulness meditation, has this to say: “I was in a really different place, which was absolutely wonderful. I came back full of enthusiasm, and since then I’ve been much more determined to meditate regularly.”
The older generation has every right to grow old gracefully and successfully. Although they may have wizened and lost the skill to be as active as they once were, they can always live life outdoors, where they can be physically active by themselves or with their families. Many of them are doing great with that. For those who have been meaning to regain their zest for life, integrating mindfulness meditation may be the start of a graceful, active, and meaningful old age life.