Meditation can significantly improve the well-being of older adults a new study finds.
The research showed that a meditation program helped improve the mental health of adults aged 65-84.
The program included a nine-month mindfulness module followed by a nine-month loving kindness and compassion module which was delivered in two-hour-long weekly group sessions, daily home practice for 20 minutes and one retreat day.
The researchers found that those who took part in the course had significantly improved wellbeing dimensions of awareness, connection, and insight.
These measures encourage calm, deep satisfaction, positive relationships with others and a better outlook on the world.
Lead author and Ph.D. student Marco Schlosser from University College London said: “As the global population ages, it is increasingly crucial to understand how we can support older adults in maintaining and deepening their psychological well-being.
“In our study, we tested whether long-term meditation training can enhance important dimensions of wellbeing.
“Our findings suggest that meditation is a promising non-pharmacological approach to support human flourishing in late life.”
The program did not benefit everyone equally, as participants who reported lower levels of psychological well-being at the start of the trial showed greater improvements compared to those who already had higher levels of well-being.
Dr Natalie Marchant said: “We hope that further research will clarify which people are most likely to benefit from meditation training, as it may confer stronger benefits on some specific groups.
“Now that we have evidence that meditation training can help older adults, we hope that further refinements in partnership with colleagues from other research disciplines could make meditation programs even more beneficial.”
The study, published in PLOS ONE, is the longest randomized meditation training trial conducted to date, studying an 18-month program.
To get their results the team studied the mental well-being of more than 130 healthy French-speaking people aged 65 to 84.
Dr. Antoine Lutz said: “By showing the potential of meditation programs, our findings pave the way for more targeted and effective programs that can help older adults flourish, as we seek to go beyond simply preventing disease or ill-health, and instead take a holistic approach to helping people across the full spectrum of human wellbeing.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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