Nowadays, stress can affect breathing exercises for seniors, but meditation techniques can help. Whether home or work-related, it is easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed. While many think that senior citizens have nothing to worry about, many can feel stressed. It is due to living issues, social problems, and more.
Luckily, for those struggling with feelings of stress or anxiety, there are many ways to improve it. It can improve a situation and deal with some stress-related symptoms. For example, things like breathing exercises and meditation. They can go a long way to get the body back to equilibrium and ease some stress. That means your loved one may be facing a social problem in their life.
Breathing exercises are a common activity that happens during yoga classes. They can be beneficial for elders in terms of relaxation and stress relief. Yet, these techniques can be used at any time, anywhere, even while not in a yoga class.
Clear your mind and instead concentrate on your chest and diaphragm. It will rise and fall one behind the other as you breathe at a normal speed. When you exhale, imagine your tension and stress moving down your body. As you think of it, this will be leaving through your feet. Therefore, people use it as a relaxation technique under extreme stress.
Firstly, sit up straight, then inhale and exhale. Then, relax your stomach muscles by feeling your belly expand as you inhale. Keep breathing until your chest expands with a deep breath, then hold it for a moment. Exhale slowly. Afterward, close your eyes, clear your head of thoughts, and let yourself relax. Now continue concentrating on your breathing for five minutes.
Similarly, this one is common to complete breathing. But when you get to the exhalation part, hum as you release the air from your lungs. Then, pull your belly muscles inward as you hum. Let yourself relax and breathe like this for two to three minutes.
Paced breathing is one common technique that can help reduce stress. It promotes the body a positive state between your heart and respiration system. The basic technique for paced breathing is to inhale for a count of two to four seconds. Then exhale for a count of four to six seconds. The specific time is up to you, and it is best to find the best combination.
During this, focus on a specific object, image, and sound. And even focus on your breath to free your mind from distractions. If you notice your mind wandering, redirect your focus back to breathing and counting.
In doing this exercise, it’s best to lie on your back. And then, place one hand over your stomach and the other on your navel. Afterward, start breathing from your diaphragm. To check if you are doing it right, ensure that the hand over your navel rises before the hand above it. Rest your mind, relax and continue breathing like this for five minutes.
Trying this breathing technique can calm the nervous system. It can also help to clear the head of distractions and minimize stress issues when feeling tense. To practice 4-4-8 breathing, you should be sitting. To do it, breathe in through the nose and count to four. Then, take the breath into your stomach while holding your breath for a count of four. Lastly, release the breath through your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of eight.
Without a break, breathe in again and repeat the entire technique three to four times in a row. Be sure to focus on counting while you breathe in and out. These breathing techniques can come in handy and help deal with anxiety problems. Yet, there are several techniques you can use to help you reduce stress in your life.
Start by finding a quiet and relaxing area to perform the breathing exercise. Instead of taking a deep breath, take shallow breaths through your nose. It is helpful for people with breathing problems like asthma. For that reason, it helps slow down the rapid breathing cycle. People who face asthma attacks or are in stressful situations can try this technique.
Try a Chinese practice that promotes relaxation through mild exercise and stretching. Take three short breaths. On the first breath, raise your shoulder height in front of you. Next, pull your arms out to shoulder height sideways. Lastly, raise your arms above your head, then exhale and lower your arms to your sides. Try 10-12 repetitions. This exercise might be too rigid for some, so stop if you get light-headed.
Generally, this way of breathing is also helpful if you have breathing difficulties. It causes a condition like a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease when feeling anxious. Pursed-lip breathing can slow down your breathing and makes it easier to breathe.
Firstly, breathe in normally through your nose. Then, purs your lips as if you are going to whistle or blow out a candle. Next, breathe out gently through your mouth, keeping your lips pursed. Lastly, repeat it.
Breathing exercises for seniors increase their strength and stamina. Also, it improves their overall mood and well-being. As adults age, their blood oxygen levels decrease by up to 20%. Therefore, it is difficult for them to breathe deeply and properly. That’s why seniors need to work on the following breathing exercises every day. It will improve their lung functions.
Deep breathing inhales new oxygen while exhaling carbon dioxide and toxins. When your blood is oxygenated, your vital organs perform more efficiently. It includes the immune system with a cleaner, toxin-free, and healthier blood supply. As a result, it helps ward off infection-causing germs to strengthen your immunity. Moreover, deep breathing also acts as a natural toxin reliever. It also benefits the absorption of nutrients and vitamins in the body to recover quickly.
Truly, many experts and psychologists swear that deep breathing is a hack. It is by treating nervousness and anxious thoughts in easily. While it slows down your heart rate, allowing the body to absorb more oxygen. For that reason, it signals the brain to wind down. It also balances your hormones- lowering cortisol levels and increasing the endorphin rush in the body.
Generally, following a simple deep breathing regime- ‘5-4-3-2-1’ can guarantee better sleep. But, taking deep, slow, long breaths can signal your body. It detoxifies and returns to a sense of calm- which can help you sleep better. Sometimes those undergoing insomnia are often suggested to practice breathing exercises. Doing it, along with meditation before bedtime, is recommended for good sleep.
Taking deep breaths helps remove toxins from the body. The up and down movements of the diaphragm from the body promote better blood flow.
Believe it or not, bad posture is related to incorrect breathing. Yet, breathe deeply and notice how your body starts to straighten up during the process. When you fill your lungs with air, it can automatically encourage you to straighten up your spine.
Carbon dioxide is natural toxic waste from our bodies only through breathing. But the other detoxification system starts working harder when our lungs compromise. For that reason, shallow breathing expels this waste. It can make the body weaker, which leads to illness.
Many people say that diseases like cancer only thrive in acidic bodies. At the same time, deep breathing is said to reduce the acidity in your body. Therefore, making it alkaline. Stress also increases acidity levels in the body. It can also reduce stress and acidity.
Breathing deep supplies more oxygen to all body parts, including our digestive system. Thus making it work more efficiently. That means increased blood flow due to deep breathing also encourages intestinal action. It further improves your overall digestion. In addition, deep breathing results in a calmer nervous system, which enhances optimal digestion.
Taking deep breaths helps remove toxins from the body. The upward and downward movement of the diaphragm from the body promotes better blood flow.
Other forms of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, are progressive illnesses among the elderly. It’s estimated that up to 50% of all people over 85 have some form of dementia. Yet, dementia destroys memory and disrupts crucial mental functions that can wreak emotions. But, people said that meditation and breathing combination slows down dementia-related diseases. At the same time, others suggest that mindfulness meditation helps people cope better with anxiety. It includes stress and depression that often go with memory loss.
One of the great benefits of mindfulness is its ability to sharpen mental alertness. Regular meditation causes the brain’s physical structure to change. For example, the amygdala region that’s associated with processing negative emotions. It includes worry, stress, and anxiety that often shrinks. While the areas responsible for self-awareness, planning, and personality development increase. As a result, in seniors, meditators experience cognitive function, improved focus, and creativity.
Managing emotions and moods is challenging for most people, regardless of age. As we grow older, physiological changes may impact mood stability. It can make it even more difficult to control our emotional reactions. Yet, people need to adjust to the loss of independence for the passing of people dear to us. And it’s no wonder that experiences of loneliness and sadness are prevalent for the elderly. With its focus on non-judgmental presence, meditation teaches the compelled observations of emotions. There is also evidence that meditation enhances positive emotions of well-being. At the same time, it includes empathy for young and old alike.
When breathing moves, shallow breathing can lead to a sluggish lymphatic system. It will not detoxify properly. But, with the help of deep breathing, you get the lymph properly flowing. Now your body movement is efficient.
When you are angry or tense, your muscles are tightened. Thus, your breathing becomes shallow and constricts. For that reason, your body is not getting enough oxygen required. But, long, deep breathing reverses this process, allowing your body to become calmer.
Increases Energy Level Due to increased blood pressure, more oxygen is in the blood. As a result, increased oxygen increases energy levels for seniors.
Focused meditation practices have a tangible effect on the endurance and strength of the attention span. It is proven that meditation improves attention for seniors. Especially those people who have started meditation programs. Thus, there will be positive effects on body awareness and attention span over time.
Regular meditation improves concentration, memory, focus, and attention. It is all about awareness and understanding where your mind is now. Yet, noticing when you wander knows how to refocus your attention. It can be a lifesaver in social situations when you experience a “senior moment” during a conversation. The mind might wander, but meditation helps you recognize and focus on the present moment.
Interested in experiencing breathwork with Regina? Regina holds two virtual breathwork sessions a month that you can access from anywhere in the world. Check out www.breathewithregina.com and join us for a session!