Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

Fat 2 Fit

Take a Break From Your Body: Meditate

Negative thoughts sabotaging your fitness efforts? Take a mental—and physical—vacation with meditation.

Ever wake up in the morning, step on the bathroom scale, and feel discouraged and resentful because your body weighs more than you want it to?

If you've suffered this experience, you are not alone.

A lot of us struggle to feel good about ourselves when our bodies don't look as trim and fit as we would like. If our body image doesn't measure up to our standards, often our self-image doesn't measure up either. What's the solution?

Elisa Parker, 36, of Nevada City, Calif., a lifelong yoga practitioner and associate of mine, suggests trying meditation: "The wonderful thing about meditation, especially for someone seeking to lose weight or dealing with body image, is that it can potentially free you from your body for a few brief moments," she says. "By clearing the mind and releasing feelings of anxiety, including critical thoughts about your body and yourself, you can enjoy the freedom and joy of simply letting go."

What a wonderful way to have a vacation from your body. An additional side benefit is that you often end up with more of a connection to your core self.

How might a newbie go about meditating? "Find a quiet and comfortable space in your home where you won’t be disturbed," suggests Elisa. "Select a time during your day that works for you. I prefer the evening, when my family is asleep. Try meditating for five minutes. Focus on your breathing and expand from there."

And, adds Elisa, practice pays off. "Like the acquisition of other skills, the more you practice, the greater the benefit you might experience," she says. "Over time, your capacity to enjoy a sense of balance and harmony between and within your body, mind, and spirit could increase."

Elisa's comments are worth pondering. How paradoxical that letting go of our thoughts and ideas, even for short periods of time, allows us to return to our bodies with greater appreciation for them and an increased sense of calm and well-being.

Lately, I've added a few minutes of focused meditation at the end of my morning routine. I guess I'm ready to add a spiritual workout to my physical workout. What about you?

Topic Alerts

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

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do