Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. A relaxation technique, meditation is used to quiet the mind and to calm the spirit. As the aging process is often stressful, finding useful techniques to stay in the moment can be extremely beneficial to mental and physical health.
The first step in actively meditating is breathing. Finding your conscious breath and regulating it allows you to control the moment and the thoughts flowing through your psyche. Taking controlled deep breaths while trying to focus on one calming aspect in your mind can effectively “stop time” and allow your mental state to slow down and regroup from the stress of everyday life.
Proven beneficial effects result from meditation. Recent studies have shown that meditation can relieve pain, decrease stress, reduce the probability of heart disease, and help digestion. Often we focus on the importance of moving our bodies to stimulate muscle growth and mobility; however, stimulation of the mind and the mental state are equally important.
The aging process should be embraced. Crucially, one must set one’s mind in order to fully accept the changes that accompany the aging process. Then, one can face them with a positive outlook. Often seniors develop a feeling of isolation as they age, and using meditation to connect without social interactions can be quite effective in combating loneliness.
Everyone has the ability to meditate. Find a quiet space, sit down with your eyes closed, focus your attention and breathe. Perhaps it’s a mantra or short saying that calms you. Perhaps you focus on a place or object. Focus inward. There are no boundaries on what works for you. Become still and allow your mind to quiet down. Meditating for as few as five minutes a day will restore your energy, improve your mood and nourish your emotions.