As we get older, we experience significant life changes, which can be tough to deal with. We have to deal with children leaving home, retirement, elderly parents, and illness in the family. Without good coping skills, these changes can be the sources of much worry and unhappiness. As many of us are finding out, mindfulness meditation can help us deal with these changes and difficult situations with grace, dignity, and peace.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a secular form of meditation that has its roots in the original form of meditation the Buddha taught over 2,500 years ago. The main goal is to find freedom from our suffering by realizing who we are at the deepest level, and learning how to meet life's challenges in a healthier manner.
Through mindfulness meditation we can develop greater awareness, or mindfulness, so that we see the world and our relationships with greater clarity. And by seeing with greater clarity, we'll learn how to cultivate more peace and harmony in all our relationships.
Heal the Wounds from Your Past
Many of us carry pain and suffering in our heart from unresolved issues from our past. They can be from various sources, such as strained relationships, loss of a loved one, or even traumatic experiences. People over 50 also have to deal with children leaving the home, and possibly a divorce. These wounds are significant obstacles to our happiness, and until we transform them, we will never find the inner peace we're looking for.
The practice of mindfulness meditation will help you heal the wounds from your past. As you develop mindfulness, your understanding of painful situations will deepen. You will begin to see everything from a much broader perspective, and see that other people also have deep wounds in their heart. As your compassion and inner strength grow through the practice, your pain and suffering will diminish, and be replaced with peace, love, and acceptance.
Improve Your Relationships
Learning how to deal with relationships is a never-ending process. No matter how much experience we have, we can always do things better. We can always improve our communication skills, so that we bring greater peace and harmony into our relationships.
As you and your family members grow older and circumstances change, the nature of your relationships will change. When your children leave the home, you will become more of a mentor than a caretaker to them, and your spouse will once again become primarily your companion and romantic partner. These changes will require some adjustments.
The mindfulness meditation practice has various tools to help you in your relationships, such as deep listening and mindful speech. These will help you improve your communication skills, so that you reduce the misunderstandings that lead to many conflicts.
Non-judging and forgiveness are two more tools. It's easy to jump to conclusions when judging other people's motives. We often think (consciously or unconsciously) that they're out to harm us personally, when they're usually more concerned about their own well-being than ours.
With the inner strength you will gain through mindfulness meditation, non-judging and forgiveness will become much easier. This will enable you to develop more compassion for other people, bringing more love and intimacy into your relationships.
Aging and Better Health
Aging and declining health is something we all have to deal with, so you're not alone. When we were young, we didn't think much about having health problems. But now, they're a reality. They may be simply wear and tear on our body, common hormonal changes, or possibly a serious illness, such as cancer. Whatever the case, they are all stark reminders of our mortality and the fragility of life.
Mindfulness meditation will help you in various ways with regard to your health:
- Acceptance of your aging body. By calming your emotions and developing inner strength, you'll be able to accept your aging body and mind, and also that of your partner. This is especially important for women who have relied on their physical attractiveness for their self-esteem.
- Better health and well-being. Research has shown that mindfulness meditation reduces stress, which is a major contributor to poor health. In addition, the practice will improve your immune system for faster healing and greater resistance to diseases. And through mindful consumption, you'll learn how to consume foods and nutrients for optimal health of body and mind. The practice will help you live longer and healthier.
- Coping with a serious illness. A serious illness can be frightening, but it does have a silver lining. It forces us to examine the true nature of life, and many of us come to the realization that life is truly a miracle. With this realization, you will learn to live every moment to its fullest.
With mindfulness, you will begin to see that you are more than just your body and mind, and that you are interconnected with the rest of humanity on a deeper level. So naturally, loneliness and insecurity will simply disappear.
As you can see, mindfulness meditation will help you cope with any of life's challenges, no matter how hard they may seem, so that you make your golden years the happiest time of your life.
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