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Why Should You Start Meditation After 50? (+ Bonus Tips)

Meditation can benefit people of all ages, especially those over 50, despite its trendy reputation. Starting a meditation practice later in life has many benefits.

Meditation changed my mother’s life when she discovered it in her 60s. At first, she was skeptical and intimidated by the idea of sitting in silence for long periods of time. After a few sessions, though, I just knew she was hooked. Meditation helped her relax, focus, and feel calmer – just as it did in my case.

This actually gave me the idea to write this post. I want the community to know why meditation is beneficial and how to meditate after 50. So, take a few deep breaths and let’s dive right into it!

Senior woman meditation at the sea
Photo Credits By Envato Elements


Which Types of Meditation Work Best for Seniors?

Each type of meditation has different benefits and techniques and there’s no right or wrong. However, some options may be more suitable for seniors; I would recommend the following:

Mindfulness Meditation: There’s a reason mindfulness meditation is so popular. It requires mindfulness and nonjudgmental thought observation. All you have to do is to sit quietly and focus on your breath or a body sensation to practice mindfulness meditation. When your mind wanders, gently return to your breath or sensation.

Body Scan Meditation: Body scan meditation involves focusing on each part of your body. This can help you relax, focus, and feel better. Body scan meditation involves lying down and focusing on each body part. Focus on relaxing each part of your body; this practice is ideal before sleep as it promotes muscle relaxation.

Loving-Kindness Meditation: This meditation cultivates love, compassion, and kindness for yourself and others. This boosts mood and well-being. Sit comfortably and focus on a loved one or group to practice loving-kindness meditation. As you breathe, send love, kindness, and compassion from your heart to your loved ones and the world.

Transcendental Meditation: Mantras are used in transcendental meditation to focus the mind. This reduces stress and boosts your overall well-being. The core practice is to repeat a mantra while focusing on its sound and vibration.


Why Should Seniors Over 50 Try Meditation?

Reducing Stress

Regular meditation reduces stress and anxiety. This practice helps you relax by focusing on your breath or a mantra. The main perks include reducing racing thoughts, worry, and anxiety. Here are some meditation tips for those over 50:

  • Dedicate time and space: Choose a time and place that works for you to avoid feeling stressed out during your sessions;
  • Breathe: Breathe deeply and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale;
  • Be mindful:  Meditation naturally causes mind wandering. If your mind wanders, gently return to your breath;
  • Shorten your sessions: Start with a few minutes of meditation and increase the time as you get used to it.


Clearing Your Mind

This practice can improve your focus and decision-making. Here are some tips to get started as a beginner:

  • Focus on physical sensations: This will keep your mind focused while you explore your inner self;
  • Forgive yourself: It’s normal for your mind to wander during meditation, so gently bring it back to your focus rather than getting frustrated or self-critical;
  • Practice daily: create a habit of staying accountable for meditation and increase the length of your sessions weekly;

Try different meditation styles: Focused attention, open monitoring, and loving-kindness meditation are the most common ones.


Relaxing Muscles

Physical relaxation promotes mental and physical health. Relaxation lets our bodies and minds rest and recharge. This reduces stress, anxiety, and tension and boosts well-being. Here are a few tips to relax your joints and muscles during meditation:

  • Start with a body scan: Before you meditate, scan your body for tension and discomfort. Close your eyes and concentrate on your body from head to toe. Consciously release any tension as you become aware of each area.
  • Try visualization: As you breathe in, imagine a warm, relaxing wave washing over your body from head to toe. Imagine tension and discomfort dissolving into the air as you breathe out.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: This practice involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group in turn. Start with your feet and work up to your head, tensing each muscle group for a few seconds before relaxing it.

Use guided meditation if you’re new to meditation or having trouble relaxing. Many apps and websites offer gentle prompts and visualizations to help you relax and release tension. However, you should remember to study those during the day to avoid screen time at night!


relaxing active senior lifestyle yoga
Photo Credits By Envato Elements


Improving Sleep Quality

Many retirees are struggling with poor sleep after 50. Luckily, though, meditation can help with this process too. All you need is a few simple steps before bedtime:

  • Sleep-guided meditations: In 2023 there are countless apps, websites, and sleep programs ready to guide beginners in meditation;
  • Develop relaxing habits: From reading to drinking a cup of tea in bed, put screens away and start being present at the moment;
  • Avoid screens: Blue light from TVs, laptops and phones can disrupt sleep, so avoid them at least an hour before bedtime;
  • Stay on schedule: maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.

Of course, the benefits of meditation vary from person to person. Depending on your physical state, you can consult a doctor before starting any new practice.

Improving Memory

No matter how healthy you are as a senior, your memory might start playing tricks on you once you turn 50 – and that’s normal. However, meditation can delay age-related memory loss, so here are a few useful tips:

  • Focusing on your breath: Meditation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve memory. Focus on breathing in and out. When your mind wanders, gently return to your breath;
  • Visualization: Imagine a calming scene or object in vivid detail using all your senses while meditating. This improves visual memory in the long run;
  • Mantras: Repeating a word or phrase helps you focus. Choose a mantra that supports your memory goals to improve recall. While meditating, repeat, “I remember this information clearly and easily.”


Your Takeaway

If you made it this far, congrats! Now you know why meditation is so important after 50 and how to start properly. I truly hope this post helped you improve your physical and mental health.

To recap everything quickly, meditation is a simple and effective way to reduce stress, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, boost memory and focus and get better sleep. Seniors can benefit from meditation at any age as it’s a light practice physically.

In your golden years, you can find more peace and relaxation by meditating daily. Mindfulness, loving-kindness, transcendental, and body scan meditation can all work for you.

Why not meditate today? You can start with just a few minutes a day can improve your physical and mental health. You’ll be surprised by how many benefits you’ll reap just by immersing yourself in this practice for 30 minutes or less on a daily basis.

If you have any additional recommendations, personal experiences, or other suggestions, I’d love to hear them out! Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Let’s create a powerful community who cares about their life quality!

Want to start meditating? Read also: What Is Body Scan Meditation (and Why Should Beginners Do It)?

Passionate about cognitive psychology and data research, Tudor aims to highlight the importance of prioritizing self-care regardless of age, gender, or nationality. For over two years, he has been prioritizing extensive research in mindfulness and meditation techniques delivered to everyday people in a simple, meaningful manner.

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