MEDITATION FOR SENIORS
It is important, to improve your health and decrease your falls risk, that you are doing what you can to reduce stress.
I feel the best way to decrease stress, calm the mind and be more present is through meditation.
Meditation doesn't have to be a very disciplined, monk-like practice.
Think of meditation as spending a set amount of time, with intention, on doing something good for yourself, to help reduce stress. That's it! It's that simple.
Meditation techniques are growing in popularity, and it's not just a fashion trend. There is increasing evidence of the benefits of meditation for wellness and other areas of life.
There is evidence for meditation slowing the ageing process, decreasing pain symptoms, improving alertness and strengthening our immune system.
I notice I'm happier, more alert and calmer when I meditate. I feel healthier, have more energy, and I don't get bogged down by the stresses of my day.
In short, MEDITATION WORKS!
There are many, many types of meditations, or ways to meditate and relax the mind. It could be as simple as laying in a hot bath and just allowing yourself to relax.
My favourite way is mindfulness meditation (outlined below). But if mindfulness is not for you, find something to minimise stress that works for you!
Don't neglect the mind's role in improving health. The mind and body ARE connected.
It took me a long time to get into meditation myself to decrease stress. I knew the benefits but just never thought it was for me. Once I began, stayed consistent and noticed results, I got hooked!
Consistency is the key to any meditation practice, and 10 minutes is the perfect place to start.
I recommend 10 minutes of meditation each day, from now on, to improve your health and to decrease your falls risk.
A SIMPLE MEDITATION TECHNIQUE:
Here is a meditation technique you can use. Try it each morning, or before bed, or when you're feeling stressed. Give it a try and see how you feel.
Mindful Meditation Steps:
When alert, not sleepy, sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. You don't have to be in the 'legs crossed, lotus, position we commonly see with meditation (diagram below).
If you want to sit in this position, by all means, go for it. But it is not required.
Just get comfortable and do not lay down. You don't want to fall asleep.
3. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes of undistracted time. No distractions, with full focus for the time set.
Start with less time and make it easy for yourself to build the habit. As you stay consistent and start enjoying meditation, you can increase the time. The goal is, like exercise, to build the habit and stay consistent.
4. Sit in silence or play soothing music during your session. A simple Google or YouTube search on "meditation music" can help with this.
5. Now you're ready to go! Start by taking a deep breath, all the way in, through the nose and then a deep breath, all the way out, again through the nose. Repeat this three times with your eyes open. Allowing yourself to relax with each breath.
6. Now close your eyes and keep them closed for the rest of the session.
7. Now take slower controlled breaths in and out through the nose. Nice and slow.
8. Focus on these slow and controlled breaths going in and out of your nose. Keep your attention on the breath.
Your mind will wander. Thoughts will arise. This is ok! Run with the thoughts for a while but try not to run away with the thoughts entirely. Do your best to bring your focus back to the body and the breath. Allow yourself to get more relaxed with each breath.
9. Once you start to feel yourself relaxing. Continue your breathing, but now change your focus to your body and how it feels. Starting at the top of the head, slowly move your way throughout the body to your feet. Focusing on relaxing each part of your body as you move through.
10. Repeat this body scan, the slow controlled breathing and continue to allow each part of your body to get more and more relaxed for the time set.
11. Once finished, take this new relaxation into your day and repeat the process daily.
Meditation does not need to be perfect. If you are having trouble, it's ok! Just sit in silence, enjoy the quiet time and try your best to relax. Over time, you will get better!
If you prefer something to listen and follow along to, there are plenty of apps and guided meditations online, which make meditation simple. To find these, do a google search, or I can recommend a few (shoot me an email to ask).
This whole process will get easier, and you'll notice significant differences in your everyday life if you stay consistent!
So, vow to make it a daily habit, and it's only a matter of time before you start seeing the results in many areas of your life!