“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak”
For people of all ages, meditation is one of the best ways to let go of stress and relax. It is no surprise that the stress, anxiety, and fatigue levels are at an all-time high in humans, thanks to our hectic lifestyles and internal, interpersonal, and external negativity.
Especially during these difficult times, when the world is fighting a war against Coronavirus, people are going through a rollercoaster of emotions on an everyday basis. Certain people are facing uncontrolled spurts of anger, resentment, frustration, depression, and pain, resulting in a troubled mind and an unhealthy body. Meditation is a proven way to get rid of all such negativity, deal with conflict, and relieve stress.
How can meditation help seniors?
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” - Buddha”
Meditation has a wide range of benefits, especially for senior citizens. Meditating on a daily basis can help you:
- Relax and reinvigorate
- Relieve stress
- Heighten awareness
- Feel positive
- Elevate your concentration and focus levels
- Improve physical and mental strength
- Control your emotions better
There are thousands of resources online that can help you get started (or level up) with your meditation. Here is a list of the most popular and effective types of meditation:
- Breath awareness
- Deep breathing
- Progressive relaxation
- Zen meditation
- Transcendental meditation
Some of these involve controlled breathing, while others need you to develop a high sense of awareness about yourself and your surroundings. While each one has its own set of benefits, you can choose any one to get started. Alternatively, you can pair more than one form of meditation to add more value to your efforts.
How to practice meditation efficiently?
“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you” – David Lynch
You might find it difficult to meditate and that is totally normal. Meditation, contrary to popular belief, is not easy. Here are a few pro tips and expert advice to help you make your meditation sessions more effective.
1. It is okay to experience difficulties initially
Your mind will wander while meditating – it is a human tendency. It is alright for you to experience such problems as a beginner. Meditation requires a high degree of focus and you can use your breath as an anchor to bring this focus back.
You can also use a memory foam eyemask to steer clear of any distractions. Comfortable and calming, sleep masks are particularly effective for people who find it difficult to focus. It can also help –
- People who suffer from insomnia, migraine, and dry eyes
- Concentrate during meditation
2. Do not emphasize on the result
It is extremely important for you to focus on the moment rather than the result you expect from your meditation session. Stay in the moment and focus all your energies into breathing, relaxing, and letting go of everything else.
If you are planning to take the yoga route, it is recommended that you get yourself an anti-skid yoga mat . With moisture-resistant technology on both sides, reversible yoga mats are excellent for use anywhere. You can easily roll the mat and stow it away when not in use. Choose a yoga mat that –
- Assists in balancing yourself
- Is easily portable
- Can be washed and cleaned easily
3. Get comfortable
Comfort is of paramount importance, especially for individuals who are practicing meditation for the first time. There are bound to be several internal and external distractions. While the internal part will take care of itself, eventually, it is good to begin by decluttering the external factors. Find and design a beautiful space where you can meditate peacefully.
You can invest in a high-quality meditation chair that provides ample support to your back. This is particularly beneficial for senior citizens, since they may find it difficult to maintain a correct posture throughout their meditation sessions. Such products are equipped with a meditation block for additional comfort.
Look for a meditation chair that –
- Helps reduce stress even if you sit for long durations
- Keeps your neck and spine clean
- Makes meditation a relaxing and rejuvenating experience
- Is easily foldable
4. Process, process, process
Like in a sport, it is important to take a process-oriented approach to your meditation efforts. The result, over a period of time, will take care of itself. It helps to note down your daily progress. You can make a mental note of how your meditation sessions are going or even maintain a journal that you update at the end of each session.
5. Take your time, don’t aim for overnight results
Meditation is a skill that takes time to master. Mastering the practice of meditation is a gradual process, so if you don’t experience sudden transformations, it is absolutely normal. Give it ample time and build up your meditation sessions in terms of time and intensity gradually.
6. Music works like magic
It is no secret that the right kind of music can uplift your mood or get you in the right frame of mind. There is a huge treasure of meditation music available online. However, it is a cumbersome process to filter good music and create your own playlist.
You can also consider buying a pre-loaded music card that features meditation and healing mantras or soothing instrumental music tracks for relaxation. Mantra-based meditation is a popular form of relaxation around the world and is known to offer peace of mind and spiritual satisfaction.
Opt for music that –
- Relaxes your mind while you meditate
- Features yoga gurus, musicians, etc.
- Can be played anywhere and at any time
7. Motivate yourself
The initial difficulties can lead to you developing a negative outlook towards meditation. It is important to be self-motivated and constantly reassure yourself that in the long run, this is going to help. You can also reward yourself for the gradual progress that you make in your meditation sessions.
8. Guided meditation works like a charm
For beginners (or people who find it difficult to meditate by themselves), guided meditation is the best way to get started. There are several ways in which you can do this. Enroll in a meditation class, listen to meditation podcasts or follow meditation gurus on platforms like YouTube so you can meditate along with your guide.
9. Slow and steady
Another handy tip for amateurs is to finish every meditation session slowly. According to the acclaimed author and master storyteller Neelesh Misra, ‘slow’ is not just about the physical pace of life; it is a state of mind. Finishing off your meditation slowly and gradually will help you relax even better.
Pick a time of the day that works best for you and make sure you stick to your schedule on a daily basis. Bid adieu to your worries, find simple resolutions to your conflicts, and steer clear of negativity. Experience the magic of meditation!
“Meditation is valuable for all of humanity because it involves looking inward. People don't have to be religious to look inside themselves more carefully. It is constructive and worthwhile to analyze our emotions, including compassion and our sense of caring, so that we can become more calm and happy.”- Dalai Lama