meditation for seniors

Meditation for Seniors: Why Regular Meditation Is So Important

Meditation is incredibly popular. It’s used by yoga instructors, corporate executives, presidents, and even movie stars.

But what about seniors? Should they start incorporating meditation into their lives, too?

Actually, meditation for seniors has been steadily gaining in popularity – and for good reason. This practice has a positive effect on seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Meditation for Seniors – Why It’s So Important

Betty Rhodes, a contributing writer for the Napa Valley Register, thinks meditation for seniors is a great idea. And she should know – she’s a senior with a regular meditation practice. In a 2016 piece in the Napa Valley Register, Rhodes says that each time she meditates, it’s like going on a mini-vacation.

With all the challenges, activities, and distractions of life, finding a healthy way to deal is incredibly important. Rhodes points out that meditating helps give people a sense of peace, like a “reassuring calm” in the midst of a hectic life.

In addition to the stress-reducing benefits of meditation, this practice has helped people to come up with solutions to complex problems, promotes better sleep, lowers blood pressure, and increases energy.

The Differences Between Visualization, Meditation, and Mindfulness

Within the scope of meditation fall the practices of visualization and mindfulness. How do mindfulness, visualization, and meditation differ?

Meditation

According to MedicalDaily.com, meditation is a way to self-regulate the mind. Feeling love, compassion, and patience are common during this type of practice. The goal is to clear the mind of clutter and experience the ultimate peace.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a type of active meditation. The goal is to practice it throughout the day. Conversely, meditation is usually practiced in one to three periods per day – like a one-hour session or three 10 minute sessions.

The goal is to be aware of how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. This will help you recognize negative thoughts and emotions right away, instead of recognizing them only after you’ve spiraled down into negativity or feeling stressed out.

Another way to use mindfulness is while eating. This allows you to truly taste and enjoy the food, while at the same time avoiding overeating.

Visualization

This is another form of active meditation. It’s used by athletes, actors, and those in the business world to improve performance. This practice can also contribute to better sleep and improved immune response.

Visualization, Meditation, and Mindfulness Assistance

Are you excited to start incorporating mindfulness, meditation, and visualization into your daily life? If so, it may be a good idea to start out with some help.

Guided visualization and meditation sessions with a therapist can help your mind focus and relax, instead of wandering off – which happens often when you first start out.

The therapist will talk you through the practice as needed. With this guidance and daily practice, you’ll find that visualization, meditation, and mindfulness soon become easier. And seeing the benefits of putting these exercises into practice each day will encourage you to continue on with them.

Would you like more information about how meditation and general therapy sessions can improve your life? Please give me a call to schedule a consultation. I’m happy to answer all of your questions.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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