Meditation Is a Practice That Benefits EveryoneMarch 22, 2022
Meditation for seniors is much more than taking deep breaths in a quiet room. Meditation helps stress slip away and provides an array of emotional health benefits. What’s more, it can be done anywhere, and it’s a skill that all of us have inside. Check out these profound words from famed author Deepak Chopra:
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there.”
What Is Meditation?
Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand. Mindfulness is “the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.”
The popular meditation app Headspace defines mindfulness as “the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment.” What’s more, it’s accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and the body’s sensations.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation for Seniors?
Research shows that meditation provides an array of improved mental, emotional, and social health outcomes.
For older adults, the benefits of meditating regularly may be even greater. U.S. News & World Report highlights benefits of meditating as the following:
- Preventing cognitive decline
- Decreased stress and loneliness
At least one doctor reports that older patients were able to reduce medications such as antihypertensives and antidepressants because meditation helps with blood pressure and reduces depression and anxiety.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health also notes that studies have shown that meditation can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups from ulcerative colitis.
Easy Meditation for Seniors
If you’re interested in making meditation part of your wellness routine, there are opportunities to participate in group meditation throughout the Naperville area.
These include Naperville Meditation and Art of Living. Meetup.com features several meditation groups, including Present Moment Meditation Group of Naperville.
However, our residents need not leave Monarch Landing to participate in guided meditation. Every Friday, residents gather in the Music Room for a Mindfulness Meditation session.
Meditation Techniques for Seniors
If you want to bring meditation to your daily life and don’t want to wait for a class or group, you can meditate individually. Follow these steps:
- Find a suitable location. Headspace suggests a place that “feels comfortable and has minimal interruptions.”
- Turn off technological devices. The space might not be perfectly quiet, but it’s best to silence devices and keep distractions to a minimum. This will make it easier for you to practice being mindful.
- Get comfortable. Meditation is something that can be done while seated or lying in bed.
- Close your eyes. Closing your eyes allows you to do a body scan and focus on what you’re feeling. You could notice physical sensations like the soft pillow supporting your back or how cozy your shirt is. You’re bringing an overall awareness to your body.
- Breathe in and out. As you breathe, focus on allowing your thoughts to flow in and out. You’re not fixated on one thing. This will help you relax and be in the present moment.
- Establish a routine. Then there’s building it into your routine, finding time each day and getting into the habit of meditating. Some people find it easiest to identify the same place and same time each day. Knowing there’s a set time in the day reserved just for you to check in with how you’re feeling can bring a sense of comfort and improve your mental health.
Chopra describes meditation in near-religious terms, and given its benefits, one can see why. “Meditation is allowing the spirit to speak to you,” he says. For people looking to reduce stress and anxiety and increase relaxation, meditation might just be the ritual that they’re missing.
Best Guided Meditations for Seniors
When you’re meditating on your own, you may wonder how to get into the proper mindset of meditation.
There are guided meditations that you can listen to or watch that can help you relax and take you step by step through the meditation process. If you prefer quiet, you can get a meditation journal that gives your prompts so you can write down your thoughts.
Check out these mediums until you find the one that most resonates with you:
- Online Videos
- Meditation Journals
Other Ways To Meditate
You can also participate in yoga, a practice that combines stretching, strength, breathing, and bringing awareness to your body.
Yoga provides a number of health benefits to seniors. It increases:
- Cardio health
- Muscle strength
There are many different kinds of yoga, and everything can be modified to fit anyone’s fitness level. Beginner-friendly yoga for seniors may involve using a chair. Chair yoga allows people to do poses in a sitting position or lean on the chair for balance.
Live a Relaxed Life at Monarch Landing
Monarch Landing supports residents in living their best lives. You can learn more about your opportunities for wellness at Monarch Landing when you schedule a visit to our community.