Meditation for Seniors

image of rocks and flowersStress reduction is often touted as one of the key benefits of a regular meditation practice. For seniors facing the stress of changes in health and changing family roles, meditation can provide welcome support and help relieve mental and physical discomfort.

Meditation can also help ease positive yet stressful events, like family celebrations, holidays, or a move to an independent senior living community.

What Is Meditation?
Meditation means simply, “focused concentration.” The simplest form of meditation is meditation on the breath. Paying close attention to the breath gives a busy, stressed mind something to follow. Plus, focusing on the breath causes breathing to slow and deepen naturally. This sends a signal to the body that all is well. The body relaxes, the heart rate slows, and the mind clears.

Benefits Of Meditation
A regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure, improve immune system function, and improve focus and clarity. People of all ages who meditate regularly report a greater overall feeling of well-being and acceptance. For seniors, many of whom face changes in cardiac health, mental clarity, and lowered resistance to germs, this is an especially beneficial practice.

Meditation In Times Of Change
No matter our age, change is certain in life. Some changes are positive and welcomed, while other changes are less welcome. But all change – good or bad – brings stress with it. For seniors moving to a senior living community, there can be a mix of strong emotions: the joy of moving to a community of friends and support, the nervousness of leaving a familiar home, and the combination of relief and sadness in releasing household responsibilities.

During these transitions, the quiet, steady practice of meditation can provide relief from stress, and create a feeling of well-being.

How To Meditate

  1. Find a place where you will be undisturbed for five minutes. Silence phones, radios, televisions, and other distractions.
  2. Sit comfortably in a chair with both feet on the floor, your spine straight, and your hands resting in your lap.
    Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe in and out through your nose. With each inhale, say silently to yourself, “breathing in.” With each exhale, say silently to yourself, “breathing out.”
  4. If your mind wanders off (and it will!) return it to the breath as soon as you notice.
  5. Continue for five minutes.

Meditation Any Time
You can meditate at any time, anywhere. When feeling anxious or stressed, taking even a single minute to breathe deeply and slowly will calm the mind and body.

FountainView at College Road is a glatt kosher senior living community in Rockland County, NY.

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