Although being a caregiver is often rewarding, it’s frequently stressful too. Fortunately, mindful meditation can help ease anxiety and promote well-being so caregivers can do their job without feeling overwhelmed. Keep reading to learn about several specific ways mindful meditation can be worthwhile for caregivers.
It Has a Physical Effect on Stress
Many people report feeling more relaxed after meditating, but a recent study shows mindfulness meditation actually causes physical changes in the body related to lowering stress, too. Participants in a study that aimed to establish a link between mindfulness and production of cortisol – a hormone associated with stress – went on a mindfulness retreat. Data taken afterwards showed that those people whose mindfulness levels increased during the retreat had lower levels of cortisol.
It’s a Healthy Way to Calm Emotions
Being a caregiver can be extremely taxing, both physically and mentally. Sometimes, people use things like food and alcohol to help themselves feel more balanced after emotionally draining days. With practice, mindful meditation can restore that sense of balance too, but in a way that’s not potentially harmful if people overindulge.
It Can Help the Person Who Requires Care, Too
Depending on the extent to which a person needs care, it can be very difficult for a caregiver to find activities to do together with him or her. If the individual is elderly and struggling with loneliness, a study has found meditation may reduce loneliness and make gene inflammation less prominent. The latter is thought to contribute to problems like neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease.
A caregiver can choose to introduce meditation to the person under care once foundational principles are learned, or decide to learn those skills together in a collaborative way. Since mindfulness is something that can be done anywhere at any time, it’s great for people who are bedridden or not able to be very active.
It Can Help Raise Necessary Funds
Sometimes, being a caregiver is expensive, especially if the person who needs assistance requires things like dialysis, special mobility equipment or home modifications. Organizing a fundraising event on mindfulness meditation could provide the financial support needed to pay for someone’s care, thereby reducing burdens on the caregiver.
Beyond fundraising options, meditation workshops, drop-in sessions and retreats are just a few examples of events that could be held to help raise money. Resources like CG’s Community, Front Stream and Mindful can help you connect with others and plan a meditation event.
Practicing Mindfulness Meditation Increases Compassion
A compassionate spirit is an asset to anyone, but especially someone who provides care to others. Studies have shown meditation increases the likelihood people who practice it will show compassion, do good things and act virtuously.
More specifically, scientists found meditators are more motivated to relieve others’ suffering than people who do not meditate. Someone might argue a person who agrees to be a caregiver for a loved one, or does so as a career path, is characteristically particularly compassionate. While that may be true, an increase in compassion is almost certainly a good thing for a person to have if he is always around someone who needs assistance with tasks of daily living.
Although there are many more benefits that could come from adding mindfulness meditation to your schedule, you’ve just learned about some that most readily apply to a caregiving role. Regardless of if you already meditate or have always wanted to try, there’s no better time to make it a part of your everyday routine.