Apart from developing compassion and cultivating awareness, there’s a variety of reasons why the elderly should meditate. We all dream of aging like wine, getting better and better as the years progress. However, old age comes with its fair share of setbacks. Memory loss accelerates, our digestive function reduces and our moods lower significantly. There are certain steps we can take to ensure that we age gracefully and healthily. Mindfulness for seniors is a brilliant engagement that old people can commit to. Mindfulness has a wide range of physical, mental and emotional health benefits that are well researched and documented.
Top 6 benefits of meditation for old people
- Slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that is prevalent among aging individuals. This disease destroys memory and disrupts crucial mental functions. However, a recent study unearthed that a combination of meditation and breathing exercises can help slow down the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Other studies suggest that mindfulness meditation helps protect our brains from the adverse effects of anxiety, stress and depression.
- Enhancing digestion
Our digestive function can be affected by a myriad of factors, including diet and age. Luckily, meditation for old people can help them to improve their digestion. Deep, controlled breathing is usually a critical part of every meditation exercise. These breathing technique improves circulation around the body and increases the oxygen levels in our blood. Once elderly people start engaging in regular meditation, they could gradually experience relief from digestive issues they might be suffering from, if there is not another physical underlying cause.
- Developing a sharp, focused mind
One of the delightful benefits of mindfulness for seniors is its ability to improve mental alertness. Frequent meditation causes the brain’s physical structure to change. The amygdala region that’s associated with processing negative emotions such as stress, worry and anxiety dramatically reduces in size. Regions responsible for self-awareness, personality development and planning (such as the prefrontal cortex) enlarges. As a result, individuals experience improved focus, creativity and cognitive function.
- Mood enhancement
It’s common for old people to feel lonely, depressed and even abandoned. These emotions are part of the normal changes experienced during the aging process. However, meditation for old people can help aging individuals to manage these negative feelings. Studies also suggest that mindfulness meditation also amplifies positive emotions, helping to enhance the overall mood of the elderly.
- Improving memory
Meditation stimulates the memory centers located within the brain. And since memory loss is one of the undesired afflictions that stem from old age, an improved memory and cognitive function must come as a delightful surprise among the elderly. Mindfulness for seniors is a great way to enhance short and long term memory. According to one study, meditation for the elderly helps to reduce medical bills. This is because old people who meditate are less likely to get hospitalized compared to non-meditators.
- Promoting relaxation and calmness
Ultimately, we all want to take a break from everything else and breathe. Taking time to simply smell the roses, take a walk or have a hearty conversation with family helps everyone including the elderly to relax and calm their nerves. Mindfulness for seniors has a calming effect that can’t be achieved by prescription drugs. Meditation helps the elderly to organize their different thoughts and gain a clear perspective of things.
Taking 20 minutes of your day to meditate can work wonders for you. You’ll experience heightened moods, better focus, enhanced calmness and less stress. You’ll also be happier and mentally alert. So take the time to practice guided meditation for old people – you’ll be glad you did! If you desire some helpful resources, try the Mindworks: Guided Meditation App. It contains daily meditations and other enriching information that will benefit your practice.