Orchard at Brookhaven offers many programs to improve and promote healthy living. One of the offerings at Orchard is Meditation. Meditation offers time for relaxation and heightened awareness in a stressful world where our senses are often dulled. Research suggests that meditation benefits seniors in many ways, and it goes beyond just temporary stress relief.
Educators, spiritual leaders, and mental health experts have developed dozens of forms of meditation. The variety suggests there is a form of meditation to suit most people, regardless of personality or lifestyle.
Benefits Of Mindfulness Meditation For Seniors
Senior can benefit from mindfulness meditation in many ways, below we cover some of the top benefits:
- Understand your pain: Mental pain and anxiety are a background noise that can underlie much of what we do.
- Lower stress: There is a lot of evidence that excess stress causes a variety of illnesses and makes other illnesses worse. Mindfulness decreases stress.
- Connect better: Mindfulness helps you give them your full attention.
- Improve focus: It can be frustrating to have our mind stray off what we are doing and be pulled in six directions. Meditation hones our innate ability to focus.
- Reduce brain chatter: The, chattering voice in our head seems never to leave us alone.
Steps To Start Meditation
Below are tips and steps for creating a meditation practice:
- Try to select a regular time for your meditation.
- Sit upright in a comfortable chair or cushion, wearing comfortable clothing.
- Begin by concentrating on your breathing.
- When you are ready to turn your attention inward, shift your attention to your special phrase, such as “I AM.”
- Empty your mind of all thoughts except your special words. As thoughts come, observe them and allow them to pass through.
- Expect nothing. Don’t worry about how you are doing.
- When finished, take time to savor the experience.
If you meditate and find yourself harassed by thoughts, feelings, and especially memories, don’t despair. Taming the mind to listen means having to go through some retraining in the beginning. As you keep your attention on your breath, the mind will quiet down and you will eventually experience that still, small voice within you
Most Popular Meditation Types
There are many forms of meditation, below are three to try when beginning your practice.
- Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and present in the moment.
- Rather than dwelling on the past or dreading the future, mindfulness encourages awareness of a person’s existing surroundings. Crucial to this is a lack of judgment. So, rather than reflecting on the annoyance of a long wait, a practitioner will simply note the wait without judgment.
- Mindfulness meditation is something people can do almost anywhere. While waiting in line at the grocery store, for example, a person might calmly notice their surroundings, including the sights, sounds, and smells they experience.
- A form of mindfulness is involved in most kinds of meditation. Breath awareness encourages practitioners to be aware of their breathing, while progressive relaxation draws attention to areas of tension in the body.
- Breath awareness is a type of mindful meditation that encourages mindful breathing.
- Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting their breaths or otherwise focusing on their breaths.
- The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.
Zen Meditation (Zazen)
- Zen meditation, sometimes called Zazen is a form of meditation that can be part of Buddhist practice.
- Many Zen practitioners study under a teacher because this kind of meditation involves specific steps and postures.
- The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing, and mindfully observe one’s thoughts without judgment.
- Again, this form of meditation is similar to mindfulness meditation but requires more discipline and practice. People may prefer it if they are seeking both relaxation and a new spiritual path.
Orchard at Brookhaven is senior living community in Atlanta that believes in the benefits of meditation. Meditation is one of the offerings we provide to improve and promote healthy living. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour.