10 Minutes A Day Can Make A Difference
Along with physical health, mental health is equally as important as the body ages. With age comes issues such as memory loss, mood depression, and reduced digestive functions.
Backed by science, mindfulness is a way to become more aware and positive in all aspects of your life. Through meditation, you can achieve mindfulness, which can ensure graceful and healthy aging!
Meditation and mindfulness provide benefits such as better digestion, sharper mental focus, slowed progression of Alzheimer’s, decreased loneliness, improved memory and mood, relaxation, and calmness.
For older adults, mindfulness is a brilliant commitment that can be practiced every single day. You don’t need to be a yoga extraordinaire to dabble in the rewards of meditation!
What is meditation and mindfulness?
Meditation is a therapeutic activity commonly practiced to help with focus, self-awareness, and stress relief. According to the founder of the Himalayan Institute, Swami Rama (1925-1996) asserted that meditation is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within.
Simply, meditation is exercise for your brain.
Meditation is all about awareness of your own thoughts and maintaining a healthy perspective of the world.
With meditation comes its good friend – mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be present, exist in the here and now, and be fully engaged with whatever you are doing in the moment. Mindfulness embraces the “be here now” approach to life. Commonly, mindfulness is fostered through the practice of meditation. The goal is to be mindful and in control of every waking moment, even boring times, like washing the dishes or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Sit back and relax, because mindful meditation may be easier than you think!
According to mindful.org, tuning into your mindfulness can be accomplished with six simple steps.
- Take a seat.
- Set a time limit.
- Notice your body.
- Feel your breath.
- Notice when your mind has wandered.
- Be kind to your wandering mind.
Although these instructions seem quite brief, meditation can be reached in as little as 5 or 10 minutes. In addition, meditation and mindfulness provide countless credible benefits for your health.
Benefits of mindful meditation
Loneliness is more than a lack of companionship. According to a UCLA study, constant loneliness can have physical impacts such as heart disease and depression. Mindfulness helps to lessen lonely feelings by promoting connectedness with our inner thoughts.
According to the study, seniors who engaged in a simple 2-month meditation program reported decreased rates of loneliness. Mindfulness teaches the mind to be attentive to the present – not dwell in the past or project into the future.
The research also stated that gene inflammation is linked to feelings of loneliness. Therefore, meditation may in fact inhabit a decrease in gene inflammation, ultimately diminishing gloomy, lonely thoughts!
Slow Alzheimer’s progression
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life, according to The Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s is prevalent amongst aging adults.
In 2013, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard’s Medical Teaching School, conducted research on how stress reduction through meditation may aid in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. The research shows the practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction, like meditation and yoga, may improve memory function.
Overall, the data suggests a trend toward improvement of cognition and well-being, especially in parts the brain most affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Meditation is a perfect preventative measure for the future of your health.
Reduce anxiety, depression, and stress
Many times, people use meditation to reduce psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Anxiety and depression are issues found to plague everyday actions of suffering individuals.
In 2014, Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted a study on meditation programs for stress and well-being. According to the study, 30 minutes of meditation per day can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Meditation for seniors can help manage negative thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness meditation works to amplifies positive emotions on a daily basis. Harnessing the power of meditation each day functions as a remedy for your emotional health and mood difficulties!
Decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke
In 2017, the American Heart Association announced that meditation may decrease the risk of heart disease.
Although meditation is not a definite prescription for heart disease risk factors, studies have provided positive findings. Mindful meditation and transcendental meditation appear as helpful strategies for heart problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke, according to The American Heart Association. Transcendental meditation is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness. A common way to practice transcendental meditation is by sitting with closed eyes for 15-20 minutes twice per day, and incorporating a mantra. According to Yogapedia, a mantra is a sacred word, sound, or phrase often used in meditation as a way to harness and focus the mind.
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Sneaking in meditation once a day may be a savior for your physical and emotional health.
How do I achieve mindfulness?
Mindfulness through meditation promotes benefits beyond the four listed above. Mindfulness promotes everyday well-being by also enhancing brain performance, promoting creative thinking, enhancing digestion, and more.
A relaxing and calm mindset is possible through the practice of meditation. With today’s technology, you can master mindfulness in the comfort of your own home.
Experts report the four best times to meditate are first thing in the morning, whenever you are stressed, on your lunch hour, and the end of your work day. However, meditating right before bed is not recommended! According to Laura Maciuika, EdD, avoid meditating too close to bedtime so that meditation and mindfulness doesn’t become confused with relaxing into sleep.
The internet provides a variety of meditation articles, videos, audio guides, and phone applications to help you get on track, even as a beginner. To kickstart your mindful journey, check out this in-depth article from Psychology Today on how to practice mindful meditation. Happy meditating!
Have you used meditation and mindfulness to harness your daily thoughts? Let us know the ways you practice mindfulness – Share your story!
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