Meditation is a practice or technique used to help train your mind to focus unilateral attention and awareness away from external objects and knowledge. The idea is to calm the so-called “monkey mind,” a condition that everyone shares when thoughts not only collide with one another, but go in different directions. The whole purpose of the monkey’s mind is to avoid the present moment and continue pursuing the unconscious interventions
Meditation is designed to stabilize imbalanced emotions and improve well-being by refining perception and calming brain waves (which are easy to measure) into a more relaxed state.
The result is greater clarity of mind, physical improvement and peace, followed by a wonderful sense of relief that peace meditation provides.
Meditation is a great way to focus your ego – just pull in and reflect on the present moment. Meditation is often an important aspect of your religious or spiritual practice. But meditation techniques can also be practiced successfully without a religious background.
Why should older adults try meditation?
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- 1 Why should older adults try meditation?
As the body ages, most people – even those who are relatively fit and active – start to experience age-related health problems. They can manifest as chronic pain or poor, poor sleep patterns. It either manifests as emotional pain, like grief for great loss, or a feeling of loneliness or loneliness.
As the world changes rapidly, many older adults are attracted to meditation because it provides a way to reduce stress before discomfort leads to one of many forms of substance use disorder. There are many ways to practice the art of meditation – all of which offer the same physical and mental health benefits.
Simple mindfulness is practiced all over the world. Practicing basic meditation can involve sitting or lying down, breathing deeply, pausing for a few seconds, and breathing out through the nose.
One of the fundamental purposes of yoga (sometimes called movement meditation) is to prepare the body for a deep meditative state of self-reflection, which helps to understand the mystical power of life (see Savasana pose and Nidra meditation). Transcendental Meditation (also known as TM) became popular in the American mainstream in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to be popular with millions of followers worldwide.
No fancy tools needed for meditation, just a commitment to prioritizing your physical and mental health. Each type of meditation requires a different mindset, so choose a practice that aligns with your goals and lifestyle. For example, meditation based on rhythmic breathing appeals to some people, but not all.
How meditation can benefit older adults
Meditation naturally slows down your breathing, which lowers your heart rate (and lowers your blood pressure), and ultimately reduces tension and stress throughout your body.
Some argue that meditation is an antidote to fighting or fleeing internal reactions – an automatic (and hormonal) survival response that triggers when faced with a life-threatening moment. Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle creates a range of everyday stressors that trigger the fight-or-flight response in error. Long-term functioning of the fight-or-flight response can lead to mental health and physical illness.
Meditation helps relax the mind for a more graceful aging process – in mind, body and soul.
Meditation for Stress, Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Meditation is an effective way to help clear the mind. Raising self-awareness creates a sharper world view or a firmer foundation. Meditation provides the peace and quiet necessary to combat the natural fear of the aging process and its limitations. According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, about half of participants who started meditation did so to relieve stress (21%) and anxiety (29%).
Meditation reduces inflammation
Emerging research also shows that meditation can be effective in reducing inflammation. This is important because the body’s inflammatory response is associated with many chronic and acute problems and diseases – lupus, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis to name but a few. In 2019, the Institute of Functional Medicine demonstrated that the effects of meditation delayed a person’s response to CRP (C-reactive protein), a major inflammatory biomarker.
Meditation helps manage pain and relieve pain
According to a recent Mayo Clinic article, the AAPM (Academy of Pain Medicine) reports that about 100 million Americans face chronic or chronic pain. Living in pain can have a direct and negative impact on a person’s quality of life, which also means their mental health. Research continues to support the general belief that meditation can be effective in reducing (and sometimes eliminating) chronic pain for some people – without the need for painkillers!
Meditation manages pain by shifting attention to the breath in the present moment. Square breathing (also known as tactical breathing) is a technique where you make a conscious effort to breathe and breathe out, with timed pauses in the middle. Rhythmic nature calms the vagus nerve, heart rate, and the entire nervous system. Square breathing also helps prevent being hijacked by overwhelming emotions.
Mobile meditation helps people with limited mobility
The body is designed to move. As people grow older, they inevitably tend to exercise less, which only aggravates joint stiffness and other problems.
Meditation can include prescribed movements and movements – according to experience when practicing yoga or tai chi. All of these types of moving meditations have adjustments that allow older adults to experience the benefits – even when performed in a seated position. Corrective movements during active meditation help increase a person’s mobility and flexibility – ultimately removing some limitations that previously led to emotional pain and depression.
meditation improves sleep
Unfortunately, sleep disruption is quite common in older adults. Persistent sleep disturbance can also lead to daytime disturbance in older adults, which can manifest as, among others, fatigue or depression. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that clinical meditation found immediate improvements in sleep patterns.
Pre-bed meditation is a great way to release tension naturally and create a calm mind from which you can slowly fall asleep.