It is not rare to hear about how older people are wiser or can comprehend situations better because they are more experienced. It is also said that life improves with time and age. There might just be some truth in these statements. According to studies conducted at Flinders University, advanced ages show signs of greater utilization of mindfulness. Researchers indicate that this greater mindfulness can help us live a better life.
According to Tim Windsor, mindfulness might develop naturally with age and experience. This behavioral scientist at Flinders University conducted an online survey with 623 participants within the age group of 18-86 years to study this phenomenon. He further co-authored a book where he notes the importance of the correlation between mindfulness and improved well-being as we age.
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Mindfulness techniques can be effectively used to overcome day-to-day challenges, and to develop positive and optimistic emotions in individuals. It reduces stress and helps people focus on their daily goals.
Yet the question remains, what is mindfulness?
Well, mindfulness as a cognitive ability allows us to perceive our present in a non-judgmental fashion, to focus on the temporary nature of our experiences in a purposeful, accepting, and receptive manner. These automatically lead to positive psychological effects.
In other age-related studies, researchers focused on studying mindful qualities in the participants. The questionnaires were designed to study three ‘A’s – attention, acceptance, and attachment to one’s present. All these characteristics are essential qualities of mindfulness. The wider approach of this study was to examine how these characteristics help in managing our day-to-day life, and in improving our well-being in general.
Leeann Mahlo, a Ph.D. research scholar and the lead author in the survey study, mentions that a stronger correlation between mindfulness and well-being can be found in middle-aged and older individuals than younger people. Her study also suggests that these beneficiary techniques, which are particularly helpful later in life, can be turned into training approaches to generate enhanced and improve well-being in older individuals.
Moreover, mindfulness techniques could help in the well-being of the rest of the population as well and can boost positive psychological outcomes in general.
Educated in Clinical Psychology, Mahlo claims that any age group can develop these skills for a better living.
Some of the tips that might help you into the process are:
Paying close attention to our surroundings and thoughts and accepting our present realities by keeping an open-mind will alleviate us from any past events or sufferings. It will also help us be less bogged down by the uncertainties of our future.
Sometimes the thoughts and feelings generated by a stressful moment have a negative psychological impact on us. But it is then that we have to remind ourselves that the situation is temporary and the phase will pass. Even the worst of the situations can be soothed with this optimistic approach.
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In the worst of times, remind yourself to practice mindfulness consciously; to judge the present for what it is and not be stooped down by stress.
Choose your psychological well being over stress any day. And mindfulness will lead you to peace.