Practiced for thousands of years, meditation is the practice of training your mind to focus and is used for stress reduction and relaxation. Meditation has become increasingly popular as more health benefits are being discovered. It involves deep breathing to clear the mind and can also provide physiological benefits.
Below is a list of 7 reasons why seniors should start practicing meditation.
1. Boosts concentration. Meditation allows you to focus your mind on the task at hand. Research has found that regular meditation can lead to better concentration, processing of new information, and decision making.
2. Improves sleep. Seniors are more susceptible to insomnia with nearly half of all seniors reporting symptoms of insomnia. By helping you relax and control your thoughts, meditating can increase sleep quality and decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
3. Accessible from anywhere. Although there are numerous forms of meditation, most forms don’t require any special equipment or space.
4. Increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that plays a key role in improving mood and behaviour, helps with eating and sleeping, and allows cells in the body to communicate with each other.
5. Helps prevent heart disease. Meditating reduces strain on the heart and arteries, which reduces blood pressure and decreases the risk of heart disease such as heart attack and stroke.
6. Decreases cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone and decreased levels of this hormone allow you to feel more relaxed.
7. Improves digestion. Blood circulation and oxygen content are enhanced through deep breathing when meditating. The enhanced blood flows to all organs of the body and can be used to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.