Let’s be honest, nobody’s getting any younger. But that is alright. At least, that’s the attitude many folks would like to have no matter the age, but it’s especially relevant when your kids start to bring the grandchildren over to visit.
In many ways, this is a rather confusing or contemplative time in the life of a person. Not since those teenage years have body and mind felt as awkward. The body ain’t exactly syncing up 100% with the mind when moving around. The mind, still sharp, just takes a bit longer for certain words to come through. Science has shown that with increased age comes an increased risk for certain mental maladies to occur. Or, at the very least, there’s an increased risk of stress and anxiety, which can most definitely speed up the aging process.
But, this is exactly why prayer and/or meditation can come in handy. However, before detailing a few of their benefits, it’s probably helpful to point out the differences between the two. Prayer, at its heart, isn’t just something we do when the Texans or Astros get close to clinching a title. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines prayer as either an earnest wish or an address to the Almighty God using words or thoughts. Meditation, sometimes synonymous with mindfulness, is the practice of maintaining a non-judgemental state of awareness, moment by moment.
Regardless of faith, if one incorporates both of these practices into daily life, over time, it can result in some substantial benefits to the mind and body of a person.
Studies have shown a regular meditation practice may slow the aging process. This happens in part because meditation lowers the stress hormones in the body after a while. What’s more, other studies have revealed that mindfulness meditation may contribute to the structural integrity of the brain’s white matter, while also potentially contributing to preserving the brain’s gray matter. In other words, folks with a daily meditation practice are strengthening the parts of the brain that often weaken with age, giving practitioners a lower risk of mental illness, memory loss or what have you.
Prayer, like meditation, can have a similar effect on the body and mind. Studies have shown that a major benefit of daily prayer is that it has a positive effect on self-control. This means prayer makes one less likely to lash out or feel overwhelmed by emotions. According to other studies, prayer has also shown to help certain folks cope, not to mention lessens the overall effects of stress.
With many worship centers in The Woodlands and the surrounding areas, not to mention certain classes offered in some of our 55 Plus Communities, there are many opportunities to nourish the mind and body.