The Art of Paying Attention, Mindfulness
“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.” Oprah Winfrey
Open up any magazine these days and there is a new buzzword – mindfulness. Before you dismiss it as the latest fad, consider what research has clearly shown: practicing mindfulness has a positive impact on emotional and physical well-being.
So what exactly is mindfulness? In fact, we all practice mindfulness from time to time, maybe in a daydream, watching crashing waves at the beach or being mesmerized by cloud formations in the sky. When we focus our attention to the sensations of the present moment and don’t let ourselves get carried away with anxious thoughts, we are being mindful. As a therapeutic practice, mindfulness requires this same focused attention and incorporates different techniques such as meditation, controlled breathing and body awareness activities.
Being Present In the Moment
Mindfulness is an approach that asks you to be in the moment. Easy and accessible, it is a way for anyone to improve their physical and mental well-being by paying attention to thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.
To help pay attention to whatever is happening in the present moment, mindfulness targets your focus on three things: deep breathing, meditation and gentle movements. Whether you try it in a group or on your own, the goal is to train the mind to stop wandering and become more focused on observing the breath, relaxing the body and accepting thoughts and feelings. Of course it’s not easy to stop the mind from wandering, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
What are the Benefits?
Research has shown that practicing mindfulness has many benefits which can result in overall better physical and mental health. Some of these benefits include:
- Better sleep: researchers have determined that mindfulness meditation can help seniors get a better night’s sleep and reduce daytime fatigue.
- Protection from memory loss: Research indicates that meditation and breathing exercises may slow the effects of memory loss and even Alzheimer’s disease as meditation reduces the effects of undue anxiety, stress and loneliness on the brain.
- Improved mood: People who practice mindfulness meditation report that they feel happier, less anxious and more spontaneous.
Add Mindfulness to Your Day
The interconnections of mind and body lies at the heart of mindfulness and you can learn to harness its power at any age. Life is stressful, but practicing mindfulness can help you resist the trap of feeling overwhelmed by worries about the future. With some deep breaths and focused meditation, you can learn to accept the ups and downs of life itself and enjoy living in the moment!
The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.