Doris Bersing, PhD

Getting Older? Do not Downsize but Upsize with Mindfulness



You know how they say seniors should downsize and simplify things, like moving to a smaller house or senior community? After working in senior care, I know from experience that downsizing is the good choice for many but here’s a thought – why not upsize, making it bigger and larger by introducing positive changes? Mindfulness can totally transform your daily life.

Mindfulness techniques such as meditation, Qi Gong, and gratitude exercises have been scientifically proven to enhance cognitive function and promote overall well-being in older adults. These practices can also help reduce negative emotions such as loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

Research shows that using mindfulness, as easy as focusing on your breathing and paying attention to the present moment — two things you can do anywhere and at no cost—can improve your overall physical and mental well-being. Therefore, infusing mindfulness into activities such as creating art, being outdoors, working out, or moving for fun or just moving around, going on with your daily routine can transform the experience for the better. Furthermore, it has been noted that there is a modest yet progressively growing body of evidence indicating that integrating regular meditation into one’s daily routine may potentially decelerate the aging process, particularly at a cellular level.  (Check out the piece featured in The Guardian about the positive impact of meditation on cellular aging).

Alright, I‘m convinced that seniors would really benefit from practicing mindfulness, so here‘s a few tips to get them going.

Embrace Nature’s Palette 

Nature offers a rich tapestry for mindfulness. Spend time outdoors, fully immersed in the natural world. Notice the details — the intricate patterns of leaves, the ever-changing canvas of the sky, the melody of bird songs. This connection fosters a deep sense of tranquility and mindfulness. Let this immersion in nature be a reminder of life’s simple beauty and the rhythm of the natural world.

Discover Art Mindfully

Art offers a unique path to mindfulness. Engage with art, whether in your home or at a gallery, with full attention. Notice the colors, the textures, the emotions it evokes. This mindful exploration can deepen your emotional connection to the world around you. Allow yourself to be lost in the artwork, finding new perspectives and insights with each viewing.

Listen with Intent

Music becomes a powerful tool for mindfulness, even assisted living facilities are encouraging the practice of mindfulness, when listened to with intent. Notice the blend of instruments, the rhythm, the emotions it stirs within you. This practice can be a profound source of relaxation and self-reflection, transforming the listening experience. As you listen, let the music wash over you, becoming fully absorbed in the sonic journey it offers. Mindfulness is not a distant concept reserved for quiet meditation rooms; it is a vibrant, accessible practice that can be integrated into the fabric of our everyday lives. By consciously choosing to be present in our routine activities, we open ourselves to a world of calm, clarity, and connection. The journey to mindfulness begins with a single, intentional step — a step towards a more aware, peaceful, and fulfilling life.

Moving Mindfully

When it comes to exercising, walking, and more, mindfulness can help you to seize the activity, and enjoy your life, fully. Bob says, mindful physical activity — whether yoga, running, or simply stretching — can dramatically enhance your awareness. Thus, pay close attention to each movement, the flow of your breath, the sensations in your body, just walk slowly and deliberately, paying attention to each step and the sensations you experience. Focus on your own movement and the sensation of the ground beneath you, and the sounds of nature around you.. Hey, taking a mindful stroll not only makes you feel refreshed and calm, but it also counts as a light exercise and a way to stay flexible and mobile.

Design an Inspirational Visual

Elevate your meditation environment by crafting a personalized inspirational poster. Select an online template that resonates with you and make it uniquely yours. Add your own text and photos to infuse it with personal significance, creating a visual symbol that anchors you in your mindfulness journey. This tailored piece serves as a daily reminder of your dedication to the practice of awareness. This visual creation not only beautifies your space but also serves as a constant source of motivation and reflection.

For those who enjoy “surfing” the webthere is a wealth of articles and advice on how to cultivate mindfulness.  Discover a more tranquil and mindful way of living with the help of 21 Mindfulness Activities For Seniors & Older Adults published by the Mindfulness Box. One of those are published by the Mindfulness Box as that can help you navigate your path to a more peaceful and mindful life. Learning to be mindful could really help old folks deal with all the tough parts of getting older and make them feel better both physically and mentally.