Take a Mindful Minute
Make yourself comfortable, take a deep breath, and let your mind wander – that is the essence of mindfulness. The practice of mindful meditation has numerous health benefits for older adults, including better focus, lower stress levels, improved sleep, and enhanced calmness.
Getting older means lots of changes to your physical health but it is equally important to consider your mental wellbeing as well. A wide variety of emotions can be treated and channeled with mindfulness.
Mindfulness is focused on living your life in the present and not worrying about the past or planning for the future. Practicing mindfulness does not need to be another “To Do” on your list but can be done anytime, anywhere. Start by following these simple exercises:
- Mindful Breathing
- Find somewhere comfortable to either sit or lie and focus your attention on your body and breaths. Pay special attention to your breaths as you inhale and exhale slowly. Take note of any thoughts or tension you have and release it.
- Mindful Yoga
- Amongst many things, yoga is excellent for mobility, increasing balance, and self-awareness. So much of yoga is focused on listening to your body and being aware of your thoughts and emotions. As such, practicing yoga will help you become more connected to your environment, community, and world around you.
So how do I do it?
- Set a time limit. Don’t expect too much of yourself the first time around. If you are just beginning to practice mindfulness, it can be helpful to start with a small period of time to see what you are comfortable with.
- Find a place that’s yours. When you are practicing mindfulness, it is important to feel comfortable and be in a location where you won’t be interrupted. Find a location either at your house, in a park, or in a library where it is quiet and you can focus on yourself.
- Be kind to your wandering Don’t judge yourself if you cannot escape your thoughts or don’t feel you are doing it right. Mindfulness is different for everyone and takes time to get right. Just refocus and be present.
So, take a few minutes—or an hour—to cultivate presence and awareness.