Senior Living Care Blog

Meditation and Breathing Techniques For Seniors

Posted by Joe Gilmore on Jun 5, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Stress can affect anyone, but meditation and breathing techniques can help. Whether it is work or home related, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious. While many think that senior citizens have nothing to worry about, many older adults can still feel stressed out due to social problems, living issues, and more.


Luckily, for those struggling with feelings of anxiousness or stress, there are a number of ways that you can improve your situation and deal with some stress-related symptoms. For example, things like breathing exercises and meditation can go a long way to get your body back to equilibrium and alleviate some of the stress that your loved one may be facing in their life.


Meditation and Mindfulness

A woman sitting on the beach practicing meditation and breathing techniques

One report that reviewed 15 studies on the effects of mindfulness-based exercises found that there was consistent support for mindfulness-based interventions for the emotional well-being of older adults, with large effects on anxiety, depression, stress, and pain acceptance. Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to reduce stress and help with impairments associated with physical health problems, including pain, cancer, arthritis, and other chronic conditions. There is also some evidence that meditation may improve overall cognition and executive functions.


The point of meditation and mindfulness exercises is to promote relaxation. Relaxation is described as a reduction of neurophysiological agitation. The types of meditation we will discuss will work to help release tension in the muscles and improve relaxation.


There are a number of meditative techniques that you can employ in your life to improve your overall health and well being. Some of these techniques include:


Transcendental Meditation — Transcendental Meditation, or TM, is a form of meditation in which people practice for 20 minutes twice a day while sitting comfortably with eyes closed. The technique involves using a mantra, sounds or phrases, to help keep your attention tight and focused.


Vihangam Yoga — Vihangam Yoga is a type of yoga that is divided into five levels. In the first level, the person meditating tries to develop conscious reflection. This will help the person get better orientation in their own inner world and take better control of it. It will promote feelings of harmony and satisfaction.


Breathing Exercises

A woman holding a pose perfect for meditation and breathing techniques

Breathing techniques are a common exercise that happens during yoga classes, they can be helpful for relaxation and releasing tension.However, these techniques can be used at any time, anywhere, even while not in a yoga class.


Abdominal Breaths

During our day-to-day lives, most of us take quick, shallow “chest breaths” that can leave us having feelings of stress and tiredness. According to Harvard Medical School, abdominal breathing, also called “belly breathing,” is a basic technique that is taught in yoga courses to help combats the effects of chest breathing. This type of breathing technique emphasizes deep breaths to create movement in the stomach, it is recommended that you start this exercise and learn it while you are lying on your back with one or both hands on your abdomen.


To practice belly breathing, you simply have to inhale slowly and deeply, drawing the breath into the lungs causing your hand to rise. Your stomach should expand and rise as you inhale and contract and lower when you let the breath go. The great thing about abdominal breathing is that you can utilize it at any time of the day when you are feeling stressed and need to calm down.


Paced Breathing

Paced breathing is a technique that can help to reduce stress in the body by promoting a positive state between your respiration system and your heart. The basic technique for paced breathing is to inhale for a count of two to four seconds and exhale for a count of four to six seconds. The specific time is up to you and it is best to find the combination that works best for you.


During this, be sure to focus your attention on a specific object, image, sound, and even your breath to free your mind from distractions. If you notice that your mind is wandering, just redirect your focus back to the counting and breathing.


4-4-8 Breathing

This type of breathing technique should be used when feeling stressed or tense as it can help calm down the nervous system, clear the head of distractions and minimize stress issues. To practice 4-4-8 breathing, you should be sitting. To do it, breathe in through the nose and count to four, take the breath into your stomach, hold your breath for a count of four, and release the breath through your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of eight.


Without a break, breathe in again and repeat the entire technique three to four times in a row. Be sure to focus on counting while you breathe in and out.


These breathing techniques can come and handy and really work to help you deal with problems related to stress, anxiety, and more. However, there are a number of other techniques that you can employ to help you reduce stress in your lives.


Next Steps

The meditation and breathing techniques offered in this article can help do wonders for reducing your stress and making your life more relaxed. These tips are recommended for everyone who is dealing with increased stress, but they can be extremely helpful for seniors who may be struggling with a new living environment or something else in their life. These techniques are to be used to reduce stress in the body and help with mental and physical health.


Overall, these methods can be effective in helping seniors. They can be especially useful for seniors who are moving or have moved recently. While these moves may be stressful, they are sometimes mandatory for seniors to live safely. As we age, independent living can become more difficult. Luckily, facilities like Landmark Senior Living can help seniors get the care that they deserve. If you are interested in learning more about Landmark Senior Living, please visit our website today.


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Topics: Senior Activities

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