Bill Roache has urged fans to try meditation to deal with stress during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Coronation Street veteran, best known as Ken Barlow on the soap, said he has been using the practice for 40 years.
He told ITV’s This Morning: “There are certain basic things to wellbeing, we all know you need enough water, enough sleep, enough fresh air and exercise and enough vegetables and we can do things about that.
'Remember that darkness is only a lack of light, and fear is only a lack of love' 🌓
— This Morning (@thismorning) March 23, 2020
“But the two things that are very difficult to deal with, mainly the life we have been living in the world today has been full of stress, that is one hard thing to deal with, and with the current situation there is fear, so those two things are pretty difficult to deal with.
“Meditation is a discipline, whereby you learn to only think about what you wish to think about and get into your inner, true, loving self and radiate that out.”
Leading viewers in a mediation from his conservatory at his home, he said: “Remember that darkness is only a lack of light and fear is only a lack of love and we are all loving beings, that’s what we are, believe it or not.
“We just need to express that and by allowing that to flow out, that helps the fear get removed.”
He urged people to find a quiet place and to sit upright in a comfortable chair and said: “What you want to think about is your breathing and you want to balance your breathing nice and smoothly in and out.
“I like to think about the gentle waves on the seashore, as they come in, you breathe in, and as they go out, you breathe out, so you sit there and you try to do that.
“After a while, your thoughts will start coming in, which they will, and you go back to thinking about your breathing, let the thought pass through, don’t try and deny it, and then the body will fidget and the emotions will come in and all sorts of frightening things and just go back to thinking about your breathing and seeing these waves coming in and out.
“Then you will get to a point where you can always go back to that, whatever you are feeling.”
Roache, 87, said that through the practice of meditation he believes he could live for decades more.
He said: “I will get to 100, see how I feel and maybe add another 20 years on.”
Filming on Coronation Street has been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic but Roache, whose character left the cobbles earlier this month to move to a nearby retirement complex with his girlfriend Claudia Colby, played by Rula Lenska, said he was looking forward to returning.
He said: “We have got the 60th anniversary coming up a the end of the year, we will be back for that.”