Use Meditation and Pastoral Services to Improve Mental Health
There are several types of prayer including contemplative-meditative prayer, ritualistic prayer, petitionary prayer, colloquial prayer, and intercessory prayer. These prayers are used in various ways to improve mental health, and may include meditation and pastoral services. These spiritual techniques have been found to decrease depression and stress and reduce clinical symptoms such as anxiety
Use Prayer to Lower Stress and Prevent Addiction
Using prayer to lower levels of stress also benefits seniors mentally by helping them avoid addiction. Substance abuse and addiction are becoming problems among seniors, who turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with stress, depression, and physical ailments. Seniors who want to manage their symptoms often abuse sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications, and prescription medications.
Pray at Church to Reduce Stress and Improve Physical Health
While some studies show that private prayer improves mental health, other studies show that public prayer improves physical health. Dr. Howard Friedman, a psychiatrist at the University of California, found that public prayer leads to better health and a longer life because people who attend church and pray in a group gain a sense of community.
Seniors who pray reap spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits. Praying privately, meditating, and praying with a church family are a few of the ways seniors can improve their overall health and well-being and avoid abusing drugs and alcohol to deal with physiological and psychological symptoms.
For seniors looking for a way to clear their mind, relax, and become one with their mind, body, and spirit, meditation may be just the ticket. Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to a single point of reference such as your breathing or a simple mantra. The goal of meditation is to tune out all the distracting thoughts rolling around in your head and focus intently on the present moment. Other than the calming effect, here are a few of the many ways meditation is beneficial:
1. Reduce loneliness – As we grow older, we often find that we spend more and more time alone. Whether it is due to the passing of a spouse or the emptying of your nest, loneliness is a common feeling. Linked to depression and disease, combatting the feeling is imperative. Research has found that basic weekly meditation can reduce loneliness. Participants in the study not only reported feeling less lonely, but tests revealed a significant reduction in the expression of inflammatory genes linked to varying chronic diseases such as heart disease.
2. Boost mental health – Meditation is often used to induce a state of relaxation, but it can also make your brain healthier. For starters, meditation can improve your quality of life by reducing stress and negative emotions and helping you to refocus on the positive. Stress is linked to premature aging as well, making meditation an important tool to keep in your arsenal. Speaking of aging, memory often takes a hit, but meditation revs up the brain lobes responsible for memory, increasing your ability to store and recall memories as well as focus.
3. Improve physical health – A key component of meditation is deep breathing, improving circulation and blood oxygen enrichment. All this extra help being sent to your organs can help with common problems such as digestive issues, poor circulation, and shortness of breath.
4. Find focus – The challenges that accompany aging, such as reduced mobility and the need to depend on others, can leave you feeling like you aren’t as in control of your life as you once were. Meditation can put you back in the driver’s seat, giving you the power to focus your mind, carrying over a sense of empowerment into your daily life.
Meditation can be performed wherever you can find a quiet spot – at home, work, outdoors, or in a class setting. Think of it as a tool you can carry with you at all times that benefits not only your mental health, but your physical wellbeing too.