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Mindful Meditation for Older Adults: Benefits and How to Get Started

Mindful Meditation for Older Adults: Benefits and How to Get Started

Johny Kershaws on Aug 3rd 2022

Mindful Meditation For Older Adults

Mindful meditation is a form of mindfulness that can be practiced at any age and has many benefits. 

older adults meditating

For older adults, mindful meditation can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and manage chronic pain. Additionally, mindful meditation can help boost cognitive function and memory.

What is mindful meditation?

Mindful meditation is a form of mindfulness that can be practiced at any age and has many benefits. For older adults, mindful meditation can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and manage chronic pain. Additionally, mindful meditation can help boost cognitive function and memory.

Benefits of meditation for seniors

Some of the benefits of mindful meditation for older adults include:

Slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s

One of the potential benefits of mindful meditation for seniors is that it may help to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2016 study found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation was associated with improved cognitive function in older adults with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, a 2017 study found that six months of mindful meditation may help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Enhancing digestion

There are many benefits of meditation for seniors, one of which is enhancing digestion. As we age, our digestive system can become less efficient. This can lead to several problems, including constipation, indigestion, and malnutrition. Meditation can help improve the digestive system's function by increasing blood flow and relaxing the muscles. This can help to reduce or even eliminate many of the problems associated with a poor digestive system. In addition, meditation can also help to reduce stress, which can further contribute to a healthy digestive system.

Controls Pain

Meditation is effective in controlling pain for seniors. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that meditation significantly reduced pain in a group of older adults. The study participants who meditated had less pain and were able to function better than those who did not meditate.

Since our actual impression of pain is straightforwardly connected to our brains, it very well may be raised when we're under a great deal of pressure. Mindfulness is an extraordinary method for controlling agony since it permits you to zero in on breathing and how the body feels right now.

Boosts Immune System

A strong and healthy immune system is essential for keeping the body free from illness and infection, especially as we age. Meditation has been shown to positively affect the immune system, helping to keep it functioning at its best.

There are several ways in which meditation can help to boost the immune system. One is by reducing stress levels. Stress hurts the immune system, making it less able to fight off infection and disease. Meditation can help to reduce stress levels, giving the immune system a better chance to function correctly.

Enhances Strength, Flexibility, and Balance

Meditation has been shown to offer several benefits for seniors, including enhancing strength, flexibility, and balance. Regular meditation can help keep the mind and body sharp as we age.

  • Strength: Meditation can help to build mental and physical strength. It can increase our ability to focus and concentrate while also helping to improve our memory. A regular meditation practice can also help to increase our physical strength by improving our circulation and oxygenation.
  • Flexibility: Meditation helps to improve our flexibility both mentally and physically. It can help us become more adaptable and open-minded while enhancing our ability to move our bodies freely. A regular meditation practice can also help to increase our physical flexibility by enhancing our range of motion.
  • Balance: Meditation can help to improve our balance both mentally and physically. It can help us become more grounded and centered, helping to improve our coordination. A regular meditation practice can also help to increase our physical balance by improving our proprioception.

Improving memory

Meditation invigorates the memory placed inside the brain. Also, cognitive decline is one of the undesired "side effects" of aging. Further developed memory and mental capability are valuable partners as we age. Absolute proof shows that care keeps up with both extended- and short-term memory functions.

Improves Sleep

When it comes to improving sleep, meditation may be able to help. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindfulness meditation effectively reduced insomnia symptoms in older adults. The study participants who practiced meditation had better sleep quality and were more likely to fall asleep faster than those who did not meditate. Additionally, they reported fewer sleep disturbances and felt more rested during the day.

If you're struggling with insomnia, meditation may be worth a try. There are many ways to meditate, so find a method that works for you and stick with it. With regular practice, you may find that your sleep quality improves, and you can fall asleep more easily.

How do you get started meditating?

older woman meditating outside

If you're new to meditation, finding mindfulness courses or groups to join can be helpful. This can provide structure and support as you learn the basics of meditation. Once you understand the basic principles, you can meditate at home.

Find a quiet space

To get started, find a quiet space where you can sit or lie comfortably. You may want to focus on your breath and count each inhale and exhale. Alternatively, you can focus on a mantra or word that you repeat to yourself. If your mind wanders, simply return your focus to your breath or mantra.

Use guided meditation

Many guided meditation recordings are available online or on apps if you find it difficult to meditate on your own. These can help provide a structure for your practice and keep you focused.

Start with a short recording of 10-15 minutes, and gradually increase the length as you become more comfortable with meditation. Once familiar with the basics, you can explore more advanced techniques.

Separate your mind from 'you.'

Mindfulness meditation is about observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. This can be difficult at first, but with practice, it gets easier.

Try to separate your mind from ‘you.’ Observe your thoughts as if you were watching a movie. Don’t get caught up in the storyline; just watch it unfold. If your mind wanders, simply return your focus to your breath or mantra.

About The Author: Johny Kershaws loves spending time with his dog, and he is a frequent writer and contributor to top online pet publications and blogs, including Faith Based Assisted Living and Pet Friendly Senior Living. He has a particular interest in writing about everything related to pets, from their care and feeding to their emotional well-being. Johny believes that pets make our lives richer and fuller, and he is committed to helping people connect with their furry friends in the best possible way.