If you’re interested in more holistic health methods or have taken a yoga or tai chi class, you’ve likely heard about mindful meditation. However, did you know that mindful meditation is a practice that can actually help to promote better mental and physical health in seniors?
At our senior independent living in Michigan here at The Reserve at Red Run, we understand the importance of keeping our residents healthy both body and mind, and mindful meditation is a way to help achieve those goals.
What is Mindful Meditation?
In short, mindful meditation is a way to focus your thoughts to help calm your nerves, even in the midst of a chaotic event or series of events. It helps to calm both your mind and body by combining the act of meditation with the idea of mindfulness, which is the ability to focus only on the “here and now.” When you practice mindfulness, you let go of all of your other worries and troubles, and only concentrate on the very moment you’re in, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Typically, mindful meditation involves deep breathing, a comfortable place to sit or stand, and about five minutes of your time – no candles or mantras required. It’s an easy practice to begin, and once you’ve started, you’ll realize all of the amazing benefits it can bring to the table. Here at our senior independent living in Michigan, we even offer classes on mindful meditation to help get you started.
How Mindful Meditation Can Benefit Seniors
Seniors, especially, can benefit from practicing mindful meditation. Some of the benefits that seniors can achieve can have positive effects for years to come. Some of those benefits include:
Slows the Progression of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Disease is a terrible cognitive disease that slowly strips away a senior’s ability to remember details about their lives, makes them more aggressive, and really puts a strain on the family relationship. While no cure has yet been found for Alzheimer’s, there are several practices that you can focus on to help slow the progression and help mitigate the effects. Mindful meditation is one of these practices.
Studies suggest that meditation and the breathing techniques that mindful meditation promote can actually help to slow the progression of cognitive issues in seniors like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Additionally, mindful meditation is also great for helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which are other common factors in seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
While mindful meditation is not a cure for these cognitive issues, practicing meditation may help to alleviate some of the side effects.
Aids in Digestion
Meditation – including mindful meditation – puts a great deal of emphasis on deep, relaxed breathing. But did you know that this deep breathing may actually be able to help aid your digestion?
Deep breathing exercises like those practiced during mindful meditation improve circulation and increase oxygen levels in your blood. As a result, this may help to alleviate digestive issues in seniors who practice meditation, as long as the digestive issues are not related to a different kind of ailment.
Helps to Manage Your Emotions
Anxiety, depression, and loneliness are more prevalent in the elderly than nearly every other age group. As we age, we start to experience more heartbreak – seeing pets, friends, and loved ones pass away; experiencing a loss of independence; and navigating through brand new trials at an older age can weigh heavy on anyone’s heart. For seniors, who often lack the support they used to have, that weight can be overwhelming to bear alone.
Practicing mindful meditation can help to ease some of those worries and relieve some of the stress that so many seniors carry around. Meditation focuses on a non-judgemental approach; when you begin to meditate, you should focus on your emotions, but don’t dwell on them. You’re able to see your emotions almost from an outside perspective without reacting to them.
While meditation is not going to be able to cure you of anxiety and depression, having an outlet like meditation can be a game-changer to help lift you from a dark place.
Helps Improve Memory
Did you know that meditation can actually help to improve your memory? When you meditate, you stimulate the memory centers within your brain. By practicing mindful meditation, you’re actually able to stimulate both your long-term memory and your short-term memory. For seniors, who struggle naturally with memory decline, this has the potential to have an amazing impact.
Even if mindful meditation is only able to help with a small portion of memory retention, that small bit may help you to remember something extremely important in the future that may mean the world to a loved one. Every bit of help is important in the battle against age, and mindful meditation may be an extremely powerful ally!
Senior Independent Living in Michigan
The Reserve at Red Run’s senior independent living in Michigan is dedicated to giving each of our senior residents a new and luxurious experience that they’ve never had before. From salons, to personal trainers, to classes, to new experiences, The Reserve at Red Run has it all.
While meditation may not be something you’ve ever been interested in or had any desire to try, you may still be intrigued by the potential benefits this practice can bring you. Here at The Reserve at Red Run, we want you to be able to give everything a try at least one time – including something like mindful meditation. We’re proud to offer classes for you to take. Come and try it one time, and if you don’t like it, you’re always welcome to try one of the many other classes we have available for our residents. You’re sure to find something that you’ll love.
If you’re interested in making The Reserve at Red Run your new home – mindful meditation classes and all – contact us and schedule a tour today to see what we have to offer!