Why Meditate? Mindfulness for SeniorsFebruary 10, 2019
Staying fit and healthy is crucial at any age. At Blue Harbor Senior Living, we nurture the mind, body, and spirit. In addition to physical fitness opportunities, such as chair yoga, daily walks, moving to music, and more, we offer opportunities for mental fitness, too! Many of our communities offer yoga and meditation, aromatherapy and hand massages, in addition to other relaxation-based activities. Why is mindfulness and meditation so helpful for seniors? Learn all about the benefits in this edition of the Blue Harbor blog!
What Is Mindfulness?
Meditation has been around for thousands of years and is practiced worldwide. When we hear the term, most of us picture people sitting quietly with their eyes closed deep in thought. But what is mindfulness, really?
Mindfulness is becoming aware of your senses what you're experiencing in the here and now. It is designed to help quiet the chatter of the mind and to reconnect individuals with their five senses--a quietude that can bring a deeper sense of peace and calm.
Benefits of Mindfulness for Seniors
Beyond creating a sense of calm and a renewed appreciation for the present moment, meditation and mindfulness-based activities include a variety of other benefits for seniors. We're listing a few below.
According to research about mindfulness activities for seniors, just a few weeks of meditation-based activities can boost the body's immune system and its ability to fight illness.
Better Focus and Cognition
Mindfulness helps us focus our minds and improve our memory. This is crucial for seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment, as meditation has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's. In fact, meditation reduces cortisol levels, a hormone that has been known to increase the risk of developing dementia.
Mindfulness and meditation increase positive emotions, which in turn reduces stress and boosts our moods. Research has found that these relaxation techniques for seniors reduce general anxiety and help to improve sleep!
There are many types of relaxation exercises for seniors including meditation mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises, Vipassana meditation, Zen meditation, and Yoga Nidra. Yoga and meditation studios are popping up all around the country and many of them offer senior-specific classes. In addition to attending specific classes, you can also learn relaxation techniques via books, CDs, and DVDs available at your local library or bookstore. Tech-savvy seniors may enjoy podcasts or YouTube videos. And, if you are living at one of our senior living communities, ask about our mindfulness-based activities; we’d love to introduce you!
See for Yourself
If you’re interested in learning more about our senior living communities, we’d love to help you; just reach out, and we can set up a time to talk or set up a tour. We are always happy to have guests join in our regularly-scheduled activities; there is no better way to get to know a community than by experiencing it firsthand!
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