5 Ways to Get More Zen in Life After 50

By on December 14, 2020

One of the joys of life after 50 is that the composition of all of the life experiences you’ve had–good ones, yes, but difficult ones, too–gives you an added edge of wisdom. In other words, you grow to own the motto: “Don’t sweat the small stuff; everything is small stuff.” 

While life experience alone can give you a sense of calm, what if you want to hone your zen even more? What if you want to be a tranquil force in the lives of your children or grandchildren? What if you want to travel the world, unfazed by the things that would annoy other travelers? What if you just want your everyday life to feel more grounded?

Get a Mindfulness Practice 

One of the most beneficial activities you can do to increase the amount of zen in your life is to begin a daily mindfulness practice. You do this in a group setting, or you can download a smartphone app to give you something to meditate along with. Some of the most popular smartphone apps include 10 Percent Happier, Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer. Even spending five or ten minutes a day will be beneficial in helping you feel more grounded throughout the rest of the day. For bonus points, start taking a yoga or tai chi class; those practices combine movement and meditation, and the movement helps you stay flexible and strong as you get older.

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Download an Audiobook App

Reading more can help you feel more zen, but audiobooks make “reading” even more convenient. With headphones and Bluetooth speakers, you can listen to books while you drive, while you play golf, while you walk, and while you do the dishes. You’d be surprised at how much reading you can get done this way. Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, romance or history, self-help or humor, you can probably find it in an audiobook, and there are monthly subscription services to make your book consumption more convenient. If you don’t want to pay for them, try borrowing from your local library. Many public libraries now have websites that make it easy to browse their digital collections. Audiobooks don’t have to replace reading regular books completely; audiobooks can just be a supplement. 

Get Out Into Nature

Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, once said, “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” One of the other significant things you can do to add more calm into your life is to spend time outdoors, whether it be in parks, greenbelts, backyards, nature trails, swimming holes, beaches, or boats. 

See a Therapist

There’s a famous question: “How much does therapy cost?” and the answer is, “How much does it cost not to go?” A therapist can help you work through grief, stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, family concerns, and other issues. People who see a therapist regularly often report having improved communication skills, better coping strategies, and more success collaborating among family members. Therapy can do wonders for couples over 50, too, from helping resolve conflict, restore lost trust, restore intimacy, learn how to work together during tough times, and create a deeper bond. A therapist’s office is where you should be able to explore your emotions, worries, and thoughts without judgment, and this can really help you find more zen in your life.

Spend More Time in Quiet Reflection

Finally, don’t write off the powerful impact of just doing nothing sometimes. Gaze out of a window for a few moments, drink a cup of tea without reading or looking at your phone, or stay in bed a little longer and stare up lazily at the ceiling. Activities (well, non-activities, really) like this can add an extra layer of calm into your life.

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5 Ways to Get More Zen in Life After 50