Mind and Body Health
So, what is a good meditator? The one who meditates. – Allan Lokos
Meditation for the mind and body! That’s right, my Darling… today’s blog is dedicated to meditation and everything zen after 50+. Because of COVID-19, and the horrible things happening in the world right now, I thought we could all use a little bit of ZEN! This includes things like yoga, stretching, and journaling.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking in your head, “Honey, you want me to start meditating now?!” But let me explain. The secret to having a sharp mind and a healthy body after 50 not only lies in self-care and healthy eating, but also how we destress and settle our minds.
The quote, “So, what is a good meditator? The one who meditates”, is perfect because it is so true, my sweet reader. All we have to do is start and then by practicing, we are doing it. How amazing!
So, here goes nothing… a list of zen practices to calm the mind and body!
Meditation is defined via Wikipedia as “a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.”
Practiced for over 5,000 years for good reason, meditation provides many health benefits. It improves physical health as well as mental health by reducing stress and calming the often-overactive mind and body. It’s even said to have anti-aging benefits because of its links to the destressing of the body.
It can be practiced anywhere and at any time. There are so many variations of meditation that I encourage you to try many different methods until you find the one that is right for you. This may include going to a group meditation or using a guided meditation on YouTube or iTunes. One of my favorite practitioners on YouTube is Michael Sealey, who has many guided meditations on several different topics. They are wonderful.
You will be amazed at what a simple five-minute daily meditation can do for your health. I guarantee you will feel calmer, happier, and maybe even a little younger. Especially after you practice regularly.
Discover more meditation methods HERE.
Sometimes when I think of stretching, I cringe! For something so simple, I know it can often feel like a chore, especially if your body hurts. However, there are so many benefits to stretching beyond simply feeling better and more limber afterwards.
Did you know that after 50 we can lose up to 50% of our flexibility? I had no idea until I did some research and I was shocked. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to get up and do some stretching right now! Not only will we feel great, but stretching also increases joint and muscle mobility while helping us maintain flexibility. This will be helpful as we age, especially if we keep our hip flexors mobile. This means we’ll be able to maintain a long stride and a healthy lower back as well.
Lastly, stretching can be great for the mind when we make it a meditation. Create a routine and do it once or twice a day. Remember to take deep breaths and clear your mind as you stretch. Breathe through the pain and let it become a way to destress and maintain harmony between your mind and body. Let stretching be a joy.
Try a great stretching routine HERE.
Yoga has many benefits for a body over 50. Like stretching, it increases joint and muscle mobility. However, that is not where yoga ends!
Dating back to 3000 BC, yoga is said to have been created as a way to achieve harmony between the heart and the soul. Many claim that it is a way to enlightenment. Through poses, a practitioner can attain a wealth of benefits including flexibility, physical strength, and more.
For bodies over 50, yoga can reduce hypertension caused by stress, eliminate dependency on medication for high blood pressure, calm the nervous system, and help with chronic issues like arthritis and osteoporosis.
I don’t know about you, but the benefits seem endless to me! I often enjoy waking up and practicing yoga as a way to stretch my body after a restful night’s sleep or even using yoga as a means to calm my mind at the end of the day. Yoga can also be taken in classes (now online), which can be an excellent way to simultaneously combat loneliness by meeting new people.
Find a great source for starting yoga after 50+ HERE.
Lastly, I want to discuss journaling. In the past, I wrote a blog titled My Romance with Journaling. I discuss how I’ve used journaling as a way to tell my life through stories–how I’ve used it as a source to express my feelings and uncover the mysteries of my life.
Journaling is also a beautiful way to meditate in its own right. I find the strokes of a pen on paper and my fingers on the keyboard very zen and calming. It’s a way to expel my mind of thoughts, regardless of the topic, memory, or emotion. Journaling is so very important for the heart and the mind. If you take just ten minutes in the morning or evening to journal, I know your mind will thank you for it.
How do you keep your mind and body healthy? I want to know all about your zen habits in the comments at the bottom of the page. I look forward to hearing from you!
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