Meditate Your Way to Longevity

Many are the studies that confirm meditation substantially contributes in decelerating the aging process in adults. A recent study by the University of California at San Francisco has found that mindfulness, the state of being alert and focus on the present moment, is indeed slowing down our aging.

According to this study published in Clinical Psychological Science journal, the more mindful and reality-conscious people are, the more telomeres are prevented from aging. These telomeres contain enzymes responsible for preventing cell division and cell deterioration. As we inevitably age, these telomeres shorten in length, making it impossible for them to as effectively counteract the aging effects. They study showed that the subjects how practiced mindfulness had lengthier telomeres than those who reported extensive mind wandering. The study concluded that “ self-reported attentional state appears important to immune cell aging. A highly wandering mind may indicate a more rapidly aging body.”

Meditation a known practice of relaxation and mindfulness which gains popularity as an impactful practice that slows the aging process. A study published in the Neurobiology of Aging journal, examined how the brain’s grey matter might be affected by Zen mediation. The study has found that mediation positively affects the attentional processing of our brains and more specifically, that meditation has neuroprotective abilities. In other words, it is suggested that meditation can partially prevent or slow down aging-related cognitive decline.

The Shamatha Project, an ambitious and with impressive results study on the psychological and somatic effects of mediation, has suggested that all the well-being benefits of mediation aside, the latter is indeed an aging prevention practice.

The study’s initial findings concluded that thanks to meditation the enzyme responsible for cell health was able to keep protecting the cells and additionally, ward off the negative impact of stress and mind-wandering, both of which promote cell deterioration.

Lastly, a study published as part of the series Longevity, Regeneration, and Optimal Health has found that pranayama, a Yoga breathing technique, positively impacts longevity mechanisms, promoting healthy cell proliferation and preventing their weakening.

Meditating practices are less demanding than physical exercising yet it has a substantial impact on one’s physical and emotional health. Mindfulness through mediation can help you relax, feel good and promote longevity. A few simple ways to practice mindfulness are:

Take a look around. Focus on things that make you feel good, a delicately crafted china cup, a kid playing next to you at the park. Refrain from memories, just focus on the thing your eyes look upon.

Revisit Nature. Our earlier habitat is full of beauty and inspiration, indulge in the wonders of nature and relax as  you surrender to its magic sounds and images.

Help others. Small actions of kindness allow us to focus on the day-to-day joys of life. Living the moment by helping others in need ensures you don’t wander back to your past or ponder on your future.

Savor the day’s pleasures. Eat mindfully, listen to the birds with fitting attention, make every gesture mindfully and see how everything around you acquires a different meaning.

Self-inquiry. Take a look inside, dig through your feelings and unearth your emotions. Explore what you feel right then and what causes those feelings.

Practicing mindfulness and then proceeding to more elaborate mediation practices will benefit you somatically and phychologically, promoting healthy aging at the same time.