MEDITATION – WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?
Meditation… Is it chanting holy verses, emptying your mind or sitting in Padmanasana for a longer period of time?
The word “Meditation” might immediately bring in thoughts of spirituality and solitude – images of silent, sacred spaces with music playing very softly in the background. But the beauty of meditation is in its simplicity. It is all about finding a quiet place to meditate and start the process of relaxing yourself.
By simply sitting for a few minutes and breathing very slowly and deeply, you have already started meditating. Well, the next step is to try and focus your mind on one thing to begin calming your mind. You can either focus on your breath or on any scenery that you find very relaxing, like, the visualization of a placid lake at sunrise or banks of a river surrounded by greenery all around with soft chirping of birds. Random thoughts start flowing into the mind as you start your meditation, but the trick to successfully meditate is to try and resist those thoughts that drift through your head.
Meditation trains the mind to stay focused and be aware of “drifting” into uncontrolled and unwanted thought patterns, thereby actually improving a senior’s cognitive abilities involving memory, concentration and attention.
THE MIND-BODY CONNECT
As we age, we worry more about our physical health, but what about our mental health? Over years, we have been allowing stress and anxiety to overwhelm our life, in the process of so called “LIVING” a successful life. Aging reduces the ability of the immune system to fight infections and diseases. A senior’s state of mind can impact his/her physical health even more during this stage of life. Maintaining good health is all about keeping the mind-body connect in place. Hence, finding ways to have an active, positive state of mind becomes vital to enjoying physical, emotional and mental well-being.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION FOR SENIORS
- Improves immune system of the body by reducing stress hormone levels in the bloodstream
- Reduces and controls blood pressure
- Activates the happy part of the brain by stimulating the “feel-good” hormones
- Sharpens and focuses the mind
- Melts away stress
- Helps memory and delays onset of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
- Decreases muscle tension and pains