01 Aug The Mental Health Benefits of Meditation for Senior Adults
Meditation, also called “mindfulness training”, is the practice of clearing your mind and focusing your breathing. No matter if you are young or old, you might find the idea of shutting off your thoughts to be a bit overwhelming or maybe even a little weird. But, what if we told you that practicing daily meditation has a whole list of benefits for your physical and mental health? It’s true! Learn how you can increase your quality of life from simply focusing on your breathing and releasing your stress for just 30 minutes per day.
At first glance, mediation might seem a bit out-there. However, the benefits that meditation has on mental health, especially for senior adults, are proven. Meditation increases senior adults mental health in the following ways:
Meditation strengthens your brain
Did you know that meditation actually changes the structure of your brain and helps you develop a sharper mind? According to Psychology Today, studies continually prove that meditation positively affects the areas of the brain associated with stress, empathy, and sense of self and stimulates the brains memory centers. In fact, studies have found actual structural differences between the brains of individuals who are experienced meditators and those who have no experience with meditation at all. Specifically, a thickening areas associated with attention and emotional integration like the cerebral cortex.
Meditation slows down Alzheimer’s and Dementia
It’s important to note that meditation is not a cure for Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Once you or a loved one is diagnosed, practicing meditation will not present a cure. However, meditation can ward off the side effects of these diseases for a time. How? By regularly practicing a combination of meditation and breathing exercises. Regular meditation can help individuals with Alzheimer’s or Dementia cope with symptoms that often accompany memory loss such as anxiety, stress, and depression.
Meditation helps you take control of your moods and emotions
Aging comes with frustrating physiological changes that can affect mood stability and make it difficult to control your emotions. Adults who are aging might experience feelings of loneliness, sadness, and despair. One of the biggest mental health benefits of meditation for senior adults is that meditation teaches us how to observe our emotions without reacting or giving in to them. Since meditation develops the parts of your brain associated with positive thinking, meditation enhances positive emotions. This means that instead of sinking into negative emotions, your brain will naturally start to focus on your well-being and the positives in your life that you can control.
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