You have likely heard of mindfulness, but do you really know what it is? It is the ability to be fully present. You are in a state where you are aware of all your surroundings but not really reactive to anything around you. It’s a sense of peace. Senior mindfulness can make such a difference in the mental health and perspective of those over the age of 65, especially when turned into a habit and incorporated into daily life. Here are three great reasons why seniors should start practicing mindfulness.
Both stress relief and relaxation are associated with mindfulness. Being stressed and suffering from anxiety are actually two very common reasons why people start to practice mindfulness, no matter what their age is. As seniors can suffer from the anxieties of aging, including moving into a new assisted living community, there are lots of stressors that they face that senior mindfulness can help to alleviate.
While you are practicing mindfulness, you focus solely on yourself. When you do this, you can focus on those negative inner thoughts and eliminate them. Especially if you start your day by practicing mindfulness, it will leave you in a positive state of tranquility, which you can carry with you the rest of the day. It’ll help you manage any stress that may arise.
As you age, memory loss is a common concern for many seniors. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to combat this memory decline. Studies show that mindfulness and meditation can increase the release of telomerase, which is an enzyme that works to reduce progressive memory diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, it has been found that people who meditate frequently are able to utilize their subconscious mind, which helps give the brain a larger ability to retain information. Practicing mindfulness uses the “feel-good” part of the prefrontal cortex of your brain. This helps your brain improve its cognitive function, focus, and even creativity.
Many seniors face difficulty sleeping. Senior mindfulness can help fix this. Mindful meditation is all about focusing on you and relaxing the body. By turning this practice into a habit, you can take the relaxation techniques to help you establish healthier sleeping habits. Additionally, as difficulty sleeping typically stems from stress and other chronic illness, practicing mindfulness at night before bed can help release tension from your body. This will put you in a more peaceful state of mind, which can help you fall asleep much more easily.As you can see, there are many great reasons for seniors to practice mindfulness. One important thing of note is that even though mindfulness is all about focusing on yourself, it does not have to be a lonely experience. Your friends can join in too, and you can all practice mindfulness together, at the same time. At BridgeWater Assisted Living, we encourage our residents to utilize our on-site wellness center whenever they want to as another place to practice senior mindfulness.