Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
While researching on meditation for seniors, I stumbled across UCLA’s Free Online Guided Meditations web page. Scrolling through the list I clicked on “Body Scan for Sleep.” Within less than a minute of listening to the audio, I found my body at a deep state of rest.
“How was that possible so quickly?” I asked myself.
I had just downed a very caffeinated Starbucks Caramel Macchiato 20 minutes earlier and wasn’t particularly focusing on the session when I had clicked the audio play button.
Part of me wanted to continue listening to the full 12 minute session, but the other part of me, my analytical side, was not willing to risk the consequences (or should I say, benefits) of actually drifting off into a deep slumber.
So I reluctantly exited the session and retuned my attention to the focus of the moment: mediation for seniors.
Meditation for seniors has become a hot research topic in recent years. What is meditation? How can it benefit seniors? Is there a difference between regular meditation and senior meditation? Studies from sites like UCLA and Harvard continue to forge insights into the physical and mental benefits of meditation.
Although meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, we are now only beginning to scientifically study its effect on the mind, body, and soul. Meditation is simply being aware of your body, your breath, and your thought processes. One of today’s popular ways to meditate is through “mindfulness meditation.” This particular form of meditation focuses your attention on the here and now while releasing feelings and thoughts of negativity.
With all the worries and cares of every day, using meditation practices can help you regain focus and clarity. I believe the #1 reason why mediation is so effective is because it forces you to make a mental stop on the busyness of the outside life and all of its chaos.
By taking a few minutes to meditate every day, you can effectively reduce mental stress, increase blood flow to your brain and body, and calm your tensed muscle groups.
Let your attention gently come to rest on your breathing.
Your breath is your anchor. Be conscious of your breath.
A great way to start with meditation is to go through a guided meditation such as the ones on UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research site. The five-minute “Breathing Meditation” is great for beginners and can help you get started.
Yes, you may be anxious about XYZ. Yes, there may be a million things to get done today. Yes, another million things went unfinished yesterday.
But, just pause for a moment and let your body realign itself by taking a few deep, deep breaths. Meditation cleanses your mental state. It refocuses your energies by forcing you to mentally concentrate on how your body is reacting to the pressures around you (subconsciously or consciously) and guides you through releasing those anxiety builders.
Meditation leads to less depression, less anxiety, and a greater sense of wellbeing. Who couldn’t use a little of that?
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