So you’ve read about the incredible health benefits of meditation online — from improved sleep and anti-ageing benefits to reduced stress and better brain health — and now you want to jump on the meditation bandwagon? The good news is that meditation is relatively simple, free and can be done just about anywhere — all you need is a little bit of space!
While meditation is traditionally done seated, meditation expert Mark Stephens says you can also meditate while walking, gardening or cleaning. “There are so many forms — yoga or Tai chi can be fantastic for people 60-plus,” he tells Starts at 60, adding other forms include breathing meditation or mantra meditation.
Not sure where to start? Mark has outlined how to meditate at home in five easy steps, plus two breathing tricks if you’re short on time!
Before you get started, Mark says to allocate about 10 to 15 minutes to sit back or lie down in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and you can get into the zone.
He says to listen to the sounds around you with your eyes closed, but don’t name the sounds. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, but don’t spend too much time gathering your thoughts.
Then, listen to and feel your breath going in and out of your body. Try not to force the breath, Mark says, explaining that: “Just watch, feel or listen to it fall in and out of your body at its own pace and rhythm.” He says to focus your energy and concentration on your breathing.
As you inhale, he recommends quietly repeating an affirmation like the word ‘peace’ and, as you exhale, repeat the word ‘release’. “Allow your body to release any tension as you exhale,” Mark says. “Repeat this for several breaths.”
Mark says as soon as you feel yourself reaching a state of deep relaxation, use your imagination to envision and feel yourself overcoming any challenges or hardships. “Mentally visualise yourself achieving goals and making positive changes in your life,” he says.
And if you’re short on time or you want to slowly ease into it, Mark has also outlined two breathing techniques that only require one step:
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.
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