As we age, we might find that our minds tend to wander more. With so much going on both physically and mentally, it is easy to feel like a puppet on a string, living a life that no longer feels like it is truly and entirely our own. This feeling of being untethered in your own life makes it easy for a significant moment in time to slip away without your notice. Practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to combat this as it forces us to be in the moment as we go about our day. Read on for the benefits of practicing mindfulness for seniors.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment and it entails taking sedulous care of every action you make throughout the day. One of the main practices of mindfulness is meditation, though the same focus can be achieved by actively focusing your mind on specific tasks. Nonetheless, the ultimate goal of practicing mindfulness is to become present and fully immerse in every moment of the day, so that every second counts.
Stave off Depression
Depression is by far one of the most pervasive mental illnesses, one that plagues people of all ages. It invokes potent feelings of despair and sorrow, sweeping our minds into an uncontrolled spiral of negativity. This mental illness is fairly common amongst older adults as the loss of loved ones, painful physical or mental ailments, and the loss of independence can wear on them. Mindfulness can help combat this as individuals learn to focus on what is happening around them as opposed to the negative thoughts in their heads. It also teaches to us feel our emotions as they are happening instead of bottling them up, forcing us to cope rather than give in to them. Through mindfulness, older adults can reconnect with their lives and the world around them.
Enhances Cognitive Function
Our minds do not quite operate at the same capacity as we get older, and we can start experiencing memory loss as well as a general decline in cognitive functions. The loss of your mental faculties is frustrating, as the very real prospect of losing your sense of self sets in. As such, it might be a relief to know that mindfulness can help to combat the loss of mental functions. Mindfulness, with its concomitant breathing exercises, can stave off the onset of dementia-related illnesses and perhaps even improve its symptoms. This is so as meditation stimulates blood flow to the brain, which in turn invigorates the brain’s memory center. If you are worried that your mind might be slipping away from you or that you are starting to experience a diminution in cognitive function, give mindfulness a try!
Improve Your Digestion
Last but not least, digestive issues are another prevalent issue faced by older adults, one may not be fixed by a healthy diet and can cause great amounts of discomfort. Believe it or not, mindfulness can help in this department as well. While mindfulness is largely a practice that focuses on our mental ongoings, the practice of meditation that comes along with it can have a host of physical benefits for you and your loved ones. The deep breathing that is involved in meditation helps to improve blood circulation as well the blood oxygen levels in your bloodstream. This in turn would help ease the symptoms of your digestive issues, assuming they are not tied to a pre-existing condition.