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6 Ways Meditation Boosts Your Health in Retirement

Retirement is a time for rest and relaxation – but it doesn’t have to be all about kicking back and taking it easy. A healthy retirement includes finding balance between leisure and self-care, and one of the best ways to do this is through meditation.

Ready to find out more? Here are 6 ways meditation can boost your health and make your retirement years even more enjoyable.

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Reducing stress and anxiety

Yes, meditation can be a helpful tool for managing stress and anxiety in retirement. In fact, these common problems can affect people at any stage of life, but retirement in particular brings its own set of stressors and challenges. Meditation can help you relax and calm your mind, which can in turn help you better manage stress and anxiety.

With so many types of meditation out there, it’s recommended to explore at least two or three to see what works best for you. Some common forms of meditation include mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on your breath or a mantra, and loving-kindness meditation, which involves sending well wishes to yourself and others. Seems a bit strange? I thought the same things as a beginner, but after a few weeks of noticing positive effects I knew it was all worth it.

If you want meditation to work, it should become a daily habit. This might mean setting aside a few minutes each day to meditate, or finding a longer block of time once or twice a week to practice. As you become more experienced with meditation, you may find that it becomes easier to relax and quiet your mind, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.

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Improving Sleep

Meditation can be an effective tool for improving sleep in retirement. When you meditate, you focus your attention on your breath or a mantra, which can help you relax and clear your mind. This simple practice has been helping people with trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, as it can help to reduce racing thoughts and worry that can keep you awake at night.

Experts highly recommend these three methods to improve your sleep quality:

  • Mindfulness meditation: This involves paying attention to your breath or a mantra, and letting go of any distracting thoughts.
  • Loving-kindness meditation: This involves sending well wishes to yourself and others, and can help cultivate feelings of love and compassion.
  • Body scan meditation: This involves lying down and focusing on each part of your body, working your way up to the head. This can help you relax and release tension from your body.

All in all, you should try various options until you find out works for you. Only then can you make it a regular part of your routine! For instance, you may find that meditating before bedtime helps you fall asleep more easily, or that taking a few minutes to meditate during the day helps you feel more relaxed and rested at night.


Enhancing Concentration

Did you know that meditation improves concentration and cognitive function even among the elderly? As we age, it’s normal for cognitive function to decline to some extent. However, experts say that meditation can help to improve your focus and memory functions. In fact, it may even help to slow age-related decline in cognitive function, studies showed.

Whenever you meditate, you bring all of your attention to a specific activity (such as your breath or a mantra). Over time, this will improve your ability to focus and pay attention – and therefore improve your concentration and cognitive functions.

There are several types of meditation that may be particularly helpful for boosting concentration, such as:

  • Focused attention meditation: This involves focusing on a specific object, such as a candle flame or a mantra, and returning to it whenever your mind wanders.
  • Open monitoring meditation: This involves paying attention to your surroundings and your own thoughts and feelings, without trying to control or suppress them.
  • Transcendental meditation: This involves repeating a mantra to yourself and letting go of any distracting thoughts.

To get the most benefit from meditation, experts recommend finding a practice that works for your lifestyle. After all, this practice can’t work if you feel stressed when doing it, right?

You may find that regular meditation helps you feel more alert and focused, and that it’s easier to concentrate on tasks. It’s also important to be patient and give yourself time to see improvements in your concentration.


Lowering Blood Pressure

As I’m writing this article, some research says that meditation may be helpful in reducing blood pressure in older adults – especially those with hypertension.

For example, a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mindfulness-based stress reduction or MSBR (a popular type of meditation) reduced blood pressure in a group of older adults with hypertension.

Likewise, a review of studies in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that mindfulness meditation was associated with a small (but statistically significant!) reduction in blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Important note: while meditation may be helpful in reducing blood pressure, it should not be used as a replacement for other forms of treatment recommended by your doctor. If you have high blood pressure and you’re ready to start meditation into your treatment plan, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you.


Reducing Chronic Pain

Studies showed that meditation can reduce chronic pain, such as that associated with arthritis or fibromyalgia.

I’ll explain one study as a brief example. From the journal Arthritis Care & Research, this research found that MBSR reduced pain intensity, improved physical function, and enhanced quality of life in a group of adults with osteoarthritis. Likewise, a review of studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mindfulness meditation was associated with small reductions in pain intensity and improved quality of life in people with chronic pain conditions – including arthritis.

In addition, some evidence suggests that meditation may help patients cope with fibromyalgia. This chronic pain disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and a range of other symptoms.

Other studies have also found that meditation practices, such as mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), can help to reduce pain intensity and improve the quality of life in people with fibromyalgia too.


Enhancing Cognitive Function

As we age, it’s normal for cognitive function to decline to some extent. But sometimes things may take a wrong turn too early – and that’s when you have to step in and make a change. Luckily, meditation can improve your thinking.

For instance, one study found that seniors who participated in a mindfulness meditation program showed significant improvement in verbal memory. Meanwhile, another study found that retirees who participated in a three-month mindfulness meditation program showed significant improvement in their memory and cognitive functions.

SPECIAL NOTE: the effects of meditation on memory may vary from one person to another. This means we need more research to actually understand how this practice works!

However, as a rule of thumb: as long as you find the right timing and method for your needs and lifestyle, you’ll reap the benefits in no time!

Find out more: 9 Reasons to Try Walking Meditation in Retirement


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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