After many years of constant cognitive stimulation, the brain can start to slow down, and for older adults, this most frequently looks like short-term memory loss. 40% of U.S. adults 65 or older have age-associated memory impairment. Using meditation practices such as mindfulness meditation or mantra meditation can improve memory recall by giving your brain a rest. Studies show that someone who practices mindfulness meditation can improve their memory recall in just eight weeks. Devoting time to one thought over many allows your brain to close all the tabs and rest, just like restarting your computer.
Give it a try: Set a timer for 5 minutes. Sit up straight in your chair. Take three deep inhales and exhales, and then release control of your breath. Notice your chest moving as you breathe. Bring your awareness to your surroundings. What do you feel? Notice your feet on the floor, your seat in your chair. Release the tension from your shoulders. What do you see? Take in your surroundings. What color are the walls? Is there a window in your room? Notice the details in your space. What do you smell? Is something cooking? Do you have a candle lit or flowers nearby? Without judgment, acknowledge any scents you can take in. Bring your awareness back into your breath – just notice. When your timer goes off close your eyes and take three more rounds of deep inhales and exhales, then slowly open your eyes.
In addition to improving short-term memory, an established meditation practice can provide several other mental and physical benefits for aging adults, such as:
- Reduces the feeling of loneliness
- Alleviates stress
- Reduces depression and anxiety
- Improves focus
- Slows down the effects of Alzheimer's
- Helps manage chronic pain
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves circulation
- Helps with insomnia
Meditation, in addition to an individualized wellness program, can create life-enhancing results. Learn more about THRIVE, our comprehensive senior wellness program, and other amenities and activities available for residents who choose to live independently at Twin Lakes Community. Twin Lakes Community in Burlington, North Carolina, is a neighborhood where independence and community are treasured. Schedule your tour of our community now by calling (336) 538-1572.