Prolong a Healthy and Happy Life With Mindfulness
Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation. In nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, loneliness, depression, and anxiety are considered risk factors for residents. For some people with mobility problems who are unable to move around freely and need aids such as stairlifts and mobility scooters, resources to help with their happiness and wellbeing are really useful.
Studies have shown that depressive symptoms are between two and ten times more common in people who have disabilities or chronic illnesses. This is not to say that everyone who has a disability will suffer from mental health issues. But some of the challenges that people with disabilities face puts them at a much higher risk of developing issues with their mental health. Mental health issues are often linked to a variety of factors, such as socioeconomic status, health, pain, mobility, trauma and isolation, all of which are common challenges for those who have disabilities. Often, many people with disabilities will carry a lot of stress and frustration around how a disability can affect their lives, without necessarily having the tools to deal with these feelings. Mindfulness can be used to tackle feelings of sadness, anger and guilt in healthy ways. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, for example, can change the way that you think about life events through the use of meditation.
Mindfulness is not just for the religious. It did start as a Buddhist practice in the 6th Century and then became popular among other religions including Islam and Judaism. However, in the last few years, mindfulness has become very popular as a secular practice to help people relax or cope with stress. Its benefits have been proved in a number of doctoral studies. Evidence shows that it can help with a number of problems, such as recurrent depression, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviour, chronic pain and many more mental and physical problems. NICE, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has recommended that Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy is an option offered to prevent relapse for people who are currently well but who have experienced recurrent depression. Mindfulness is also recommended by Cancer Research UK as a popular and useful form of complementary therapy because it can help people with cancer cope with problems such as pain, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, feeling sick and high blood pressure.
Mindfulness For Seniors
If you are a senior wanting to try mindfulness then there are certain parts of it that are most beneficial:
- Deep breathing: As we age, our respiratory system can begin to break down. Deep breathing is critical for keeping our muscles strong and their lungs elastic.
- Meditation: This can be done sitting in a chair, closing your eyes and simply bringing the attention to the breath. Meditation helps us develop emotional balance, inner peace and calm.
- Gentle movement: Simple movement or seated stretches can help seniors feel a sense of connection to their body. This can be critical for creating optimal health and dealing with the on-going changes in the body.
Mindfulness practices improve our mood, sleep, and memory. Mindfulness results in overall better physical and mental health. Staying as active as possible and getting enough sleep are both very important for a healthy and positive older life. It’s recommended that adults try to sleep for around seven hours a night. However, as you get older, this can become increasingly more difficult. Often things beyond your control, such as external noise and uncomfortable sleeping conditions can have an impact on this, resulting in a restless night, but when this becomes more frequent it can take its toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. In addition to mindfulness, you could also try eliminating some of your caffeine intakes, switching off digital devices for at least an hour before you want to fall asleep, and doing more gentle exercise during the day.
Helpful Websites and Mobile Apps
There are a large variety of different websites and mobile apps which help introduce and maintain mindfulness in your life. Some of these targeted at the elderly or the disabled and some are more generally aimed for anyone interested in mindfulness. We have listed a few of the most popular and most helpful websites/apps here but there are countless out there so we are sure you can find one which fits your individual needs.
Alternatively, there might be local mindfulness classes you can join or you could get a group of a few like-minded friends together and do it yourselves. Mindfulness is easy to teach yourself by reading a book on it or listening to a CD.
At Multicare Mobility we are passionate about helping our customers live happy lives. We are proud to be able to supply our customers with mobility aids which allow them the freedom to move around. In addition to this, our friendly experts are always on hand to offer as much advice as possible on any of your mobility needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 833 439
Sarah Wirth works for Multicare Mobility specialising in Marketing and Trend-Analysis.