Aug 23, 2023 8:30:00 AM | 5 Min Read

Mindfulness for Seniors: A Guide on How to Start Practicing

Posted By Vista Springs
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Mindfulness for Seniors: A Guide on How to Start Practicing

Are you curious about the advantages of practicing mindfulness as you grow older? It may come as a pleasant surprise to discover that research indicates a natural increase in mindfulness as we age, resulting in a greater sense of happiness for older adults than their younger counterparts. This means two things: firstly, as a senior, you may already be practicing mindfulness without even realizing it, and secondly, the benefits make it well worth your time and effort to cultivate mindfulness intentionally.

Embracing Mindfulness: Exploring Its Significance

Mindfulness can be defined in numerous ways, but it all boils down to one fundamental principle - being fully present in the moment. Mindfulness involves focusing on your current thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations to alleviate stress and anxiety caused by memories or future worries. By consciously dwelling in the present, you can cultivate inner peace and stability to help you navigate life's challenges more easily and clearly.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Day

It's always possible to start practicing mindfulness and reap its benefits. No matter where you are, at home, in an assisted living facility during retirement, or elsewhere, here are some valuable tips to get you started.

#1 - Do a Deep Breathing Exercise

Mindful breathing exercises can improve oxygenation throughout the body, help alleviate stress, and help you get "out of your head" and back into your body.

Here are step-by-step instructions for a joint breathing exercise for you to try:

  1. Draw a circle on a piece of paper. Make the process large enough to fill the page.
  2. Mark the top and bottom of the circle with a small line. On a clock, these marks would go at 12 and 6.
  3. Touch the mark at the top of the circle. As you inhale deeply and slowly, trace the process, stopping at the end of your inhale when you reach the mark at the bottom of the circle.
  4. As you exhale, slowly and deeply, the left-hand side of the circle.
  5. Repeat ten times (or more), focusing on filling and emptying your lungs and tracing the circle.

Prop-tip: Try these other mindful breathing exercises.

#2 - Start a Gratitude Journal

Spending just five minutes daily to focus on what you're grateful for can have a therapeutic effect. Your gratitude journal can be as simple as jotting down just one word or line per day or more elaborate, resembling a traditional journal. Many people incorporate gratitude into their daily planner or prayer life. 

It's common to fall into a routine with a gratitude journal, starting with things like family, health, and food, and then running out of ideas. It's essential to dig deeper and consider the good things that happen each day. Was it a phone call from someone you love, a beautiful sunset, or your favorite meal for dinner? Acknowledging even the smallest moments and experiences can help you maintain a positive and grateful attitude, even during difficult times.

Discover how important gratitude is in senior life.

#3 - Fully Experience the Present

We often need more time to appreciate each moment's potential through mindfulness. Take a moment, or multiple moments throughout the day, to pause and reflect:

  • Savor Scents: Inhale deeply. Identify aromas – coffee, rain, flowers.
  • Embrace Visuals: Open your eyes. Absorb colors and shapes.
  • Listen Actively: Tune in to sounds – leaves, laughter, hums.
  • Feel the Now: Explore sensations – warmth, softness, coolness.
  • Taste Mindfully: Savor flavors. Identify sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami.
Discover life's symphony anew. These practices infuse vibrancy, anchoring you in the tapestry of now.

#4 - Document your Mood

It's beneficial to keep track of your mood to gain a better understanding of your emotions. This is important because when you're aware of your feelings, you can take steps to cope with them and intervene appropriately. Additionally, knowing how you're feeling helps you avoid hurting others or involving them in a costly way.

For instance, if you wake up feeling down, you can engage in social activities or keep yourself busy with tasks to redirect your thoughts toward something more productive. This can prevent your feelings from turning into depression or hopelessness.

If you're interested in discovering more about making the most of your golden years or considering a retirement plan that includes living in a luxurious community, don't hesitate to contact us at Vista Springs. We're excited about the possibilities of this stage of life, and we'd love to share that enthusiasm with you and your loved ones.

 

Topics: Care Services, Health & Wellness, Nutrition & Health

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