Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount



AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Heart Disease


Most Popular


Meditation Goes Mainstream

Quiet contemplation gains ground as treatment aids in certain ailments.

Jowsey says those patients who have been training in meditation and then return for medical appointments weeks later respond favorably. “They report decreased anxiety and an improved quality of life,” Jowsey says. Like many other health care professionals experimenting with meditation, Jowsey would like to see more research, but the improvement she’s seeing in her patients is enough for now.

Try it for yourself

There are multiple ways to practice mindful meditation, including tai chi and yoga. Here are a few.

  • Sit or lie comfortably, noticing the breath as it goes into the lungs and following it with your mind as it goes out. Then “watch” any thoughts that float into the mind, acknowledge them (“Oh yeah, there’s the worry about paying the electric bill.”) and let them float on by without making any judgment. This is difficult for everybody, especially at first. Forgive yourself.
  • Walking meditation. “Watch” your breath as it goes in and out and be aware of each footfall, counting the steps if you want to. Again, notice your thoughts but don’t latch onto them.
  • Body scan. Always breathing deeply, sit or lie comfortably and bring awareness to the tips of the toes. Work your awareness gradually, inch by inch, to the top of your head. This can take 10 minutes or longer. Again, watch your thoughts. Acknowledge stray ones, then let them go.




Jon Kabat-Zinn. Any, but particularly Wherever You Go, There You Are (Hyperion, 2005).

Thich Nhat Hahn. Especially Be Free Where You Are (Parallax Press). Hahn is a foremost Buddhist teacher and meditator, and his books are full of kindness and good ideas.

See also guided meditation CDs from Kabat-Zinn.

Web resources

Kabat-Zinn’s Center for Mindfulness has information on stress reduction and meditation.

The Mayo Clinic has a video that guides viewers through a meditation session.

Linda Greider writes about health issues. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points