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5 Benefits of Meditation in Midlife and Beyond

By Marcia Smalley April 01, 2023 Mindset

I started meditating around age 60. It’s safe to say it changed my life. It certainly changed how I approach my life.

At first, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. If it was good enough for Oprah, then maybe there was something to it. I was also slogging my way through the end of a demanding career, and mindfulness sounded like a respite.

But I was adamant I wouldn’t sit on a pillow in an awkward cross-legged position. (I was 60. I wanted to be sure I could get up. Unassisted.) I also didn’t have a lot of time to devote to this.

Gratefully, neither a lot of time nor a pillow were required. I discovered five benefits that even a few minutes of meditative silence bestows. 

Reduced Stress

I could tell right away that meditation would be good for my health. It simply felt good.

My heart rate would slow. I’d breathe more deeply and more consciously. I relaxed.

There are scientific studies that tout the benefits of meditation, but I also intuitively knew that it rubbed a salve on the inflammation that tried to ignite me, physically and emotionally.

Appreciation of the Present Moment

At this time of life, it’s easy to equate enjoyment with leisure time, trips abroad, or visits from the grandkids (all lovely). But dropping into the joy of the present moment is truly sacred.

When in a meditative state, there is no “before” or “after.” You allow your thoughts to come and go and focus on the breath or on a verbal mantra. In doing that, you embrace now

And there’s nothing sweeter than appreciating the moment we’ve been given, the only one we truly have.

Increased Sensory Awareness

My meditation practice helped me pay closer attention to the sights, the sounds, and the feeling of all that’s around me. I actually noticed things more deeply.

This came as a surprise. By age 60, you can get a little jaded. You can think you’ve seen it all, maybe even done it all. But I developed a greater awareness of natural beauty, of the abundance of color in our world, of clear musical notes.

Experiencing the outside world at a deeper level was an unexpected gift.

The Power of Intention

In the beginning, I began each morning in meditation. Even if I only had 15 minutes, I’d contemplate these questions:

What do I want to feel?

How do I want to serve?

Who do I want to be this day?

What do I want to bring into my world?

The intentions I made during morning meditation set the tone for my day. I began living a more purposeful life, one day at a time.

The Gift of Receiving

At 60 or beyond, our missions are not finished. Not by a long shot. Yet getting to “what’s next” isn’t always easy. We might talk with friends or seek other support. But looking outside ourselves for solutions only takes us so far.

We each have our own perfect wisdom and “special sauce.” All of that lies within.

In quiet meditation, I learned to tune in to my inner GPS with an open heart and a clear mind.

The answers I’ve received have been simple or they’ve been profound. They’ve sometimes come to me in whispers.

I just had to get quiet enough to hear them and become open enough to receive them.

There’s always time for us to do what’s best for ourselves, no matter what life demands (and especially if those demands are many). At this stage, we owe it to ourselves to choose whatever provides deep and lasting value to our bodies, minds and spirits.

Here’s to a few moments spent going within.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you experienced any benefits of meditation? What other practices do you engage in that nourish your body, mind, and spirit?

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Ursula Traynor

Oh yes! 🙏 been a life saver , especially going through loss.


Lovely expression about meditation. Thank you. I’ve been meditating since a retreat in Vipassana Meditation- insight meditation for a long time but definitely not often enough. Your article reminds me how little tine meditating goes a long way. Thank you for the reminder.

Marcia Smalley

A little definitely goes a long way, Laurie. Thanks for reading and Namaste.


It’s the best! Age 67. Still sitting cross legged on a cushion on the floor.
Thanks for writing this.

Marcia Smalley

Excellent, Shelly! Namaste :)


Would love to learn more…what guided you as you began exploring meditation?

Marcia Smalley

Susan, when I first began Oprah and Deepak Chopra were offering free 30-day meditation experiences which combined short lessons and time for meditating. This approach worked for me. I purchased a few of these series and still use them occasionally. Since then several on line apps have sprung up and become popular. Wishing you the best on your own journey!

Alainnah Robertson

So well said!

Marcia Smalley

Thanks for reading, Alainnah!

The Author

Marcia Smalley is a certified retirement coach and life coach, a writer and a teacher. She delights in helping mid-life women step confidently into their next act and design a joyous, expanded life. Marcia provides coaching support to women who are navigating retirement or other life transitions and writes a monthly e-newsletter to her entire online community. Please visit her website at

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