Accessing meditation when you're over 60

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Jan 06, 2016 by Aman

Many people find that as they get a little older, they like to take a bit more time with their lives. Perhaps you've spent your whole life running about, trying to fit everything in. Maybe you spend a lot of time looking after other people. The thing is, who looks after you?

The answer, of course, is that you do; but could you do it better?

Meditation is a great way to improve your life. You may not realise it, but the positive benefits of regular meditation can mean your overall health may be improved, your attitude to everything you do will become more positive, and life in general can seem sunnier.

However, meditation can be a tricky thing to do by yourself, particularly if you've never had a go before, so perhaps you might consider some of the different ways in which you can access meditation on a regular basis.

Online guided meditations

YouTube and other sites have a huge number of “guided” meditations available. These are often quite straightforward instructional videos that tell you what to visualise, how to breathe, and sometimes they come with hypnotic suggestions, particularly if you are meditating for a specific improvement; for example, if you want to reduce your levels of anxiety or stress.

They're free to access, and there are so many to choose from, it isn't hard to find one that suits you. The only downside to them can be that often the voice of the person on the audio may sound very strange – this is done on purpose as it is supposed to enhance the listener's experience, but not everyone likes it. However, if you don't like it, you can change it. Not all of them are like that!

Yoga and meditation classes

No matter what age and ability you are, there are yoga and meditation classes out there that are suitable for you. Yoga is a great way to keep yourself supple without running the risk of straining something important, and because it helps to align the way your life energy flows through your body, it makes meditation seem very natural.

There are also many Buddhist-style meditation classes to choose from, and these can teach you the rudimentary techniques of meditation so that you can do it anywhere and at any time you need.

Start your own style of meditation

Meditation is essentially the act of clearing the mind so that you can just, simply, be. This type of mindfulness is really important because being “present” in your life at all times is key to living well.

One technique for a very simple sort of meditation is to light a candle, and, sitting comfortably with your back straight but not rigid, stare at the flame while concentrating on your own breath. As you breathe in, use your attention to follow your breath into your lungs. As you exhale, follow it back out.

Doing this keeps your surface mind quiet as it is focused only on your breath, and it means that the constant chatter that most of us suffer from can be dampened down and reduced. Do it for 10 to 20 minutes each day, morning and evening, and make a note of any positive things that happen in your life.