Five Ways Mindfulness Helps You Age Better


Research suggests that being more mindful in our everyday lives can protect our health as we age—and even help us live longer.

As I get older, I notice that my peers and I are starting to lose some of the abilities we once took for granted. Aging brings unwelcome changes in our physical fitness, joint health, cognition, and more. And, of course, our pending mortality looms larger for us than it did in our youth. 

What can we do to have more health and happiness in that later part of life? One possibility is to become more mindful.

For those who haven’t heard about this yet, mindfulness is a skill that involves paying attention to the present moment—your current thoughts, feelings, and sensations—and practicing acceptance (or non-judgmental awareness) of your experience. Mindfulness can be nurtured informally in your daily life, by focusing your attention on the changing nature of experience, or through deliberate meditation practices. Either way, it could be a boon for aging well.

While research is ongoing in this area, some recent experimental studies and reviews point to the many benefits of becoming more mindful in your elder years. Here is a summary of some of that research and what it has to teach us.

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