While research has proven that regular practice of various yoga poses could actually slow down the aging, meditation seems to be an unlikely choice, right? But a recent study done on the effects of meditation on aging suggests that it can indeed slow down aging at cellular level. Let us take a closer look at how sitting quiet with your eyes closed and focusing on your breath helps in keeping your aging process under control!
This study was conducted based on the length of the DNA, the telomeres as well as those protein caps located at the chromosome’s end during cellular division. These three, in fact, are the factors that are commonly assessed to determine the cellular aging process. The shortening of these factors accelerates the aging process. The shorter the telomeres are, the higher the chances of a person developing age-related health and memory disorders, including hypertension and dementia.
And, studies reveal that the current lifestyle, which is dominated by those junk foods, irregular eating patterns, lack of adequate exercises, inadequate sleep, and chronic stress set the stage for quick shortening of these aging inducers. In fact, chronic stress is the most lethal cause among these.
According to a study, a certain set of people who had been practicing meditation regularly for a long term had lesser stress and inflammatory responses to various chemical and psychological stressors when compared to a group that did not practice meditation.
Studies Suggest That These People Had:
- Long telomeres
- Lesser levels of negative thoughts
- Better cognitive potential
- Better mindfulness
- Lower health issues
- Better memory power
- Lived longer
Yet another study that was conducted by a group of Spanish researchers. According to this study that had a group of regular Zen meditating people under focus, these people had longer telomeres than the other people falling into the same age group with similar lifestyle patterns, but were not meditating. The study also suggested that these people were more accepting and compassionate by nature.
This study was conducted on a group of 40 people, half of who practiced Zen meditation and rest who never meditate. The group has matching sex, lifestyle, and age factors. Both the groups went through a series of psychological tests. The blood samples they gave were tested to identify the telomeres’ length.
As the results came out, it was noticed that the group which had practiced Zen meditation regularly had longer telomeres than the other group. Using regression analysis, it was found out that this could actually be what slowed down the cellular aging process.
The results of a study that appeared in 2013 suggests that meditating for just 15 minutes by people who were new to it had immediate results at a genetic level. It lowers the stress and inflammatory responses and stimulating the synthesis of telomerase.
Benefits of Meditation
There is much said and written about the benefits of meditation. Here are some of the most interesting benefits:
- Eases stress and anxiety
- Helps you stay centered and grounded
- Makes you more mindful
- Improves your focus and concentration
- Increases mental strength
- Improves immunity
- Enhances energy levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular health issues
- Lowers inflammatory conditions including asthma
- Lessens pre-menstrual symptoms and menstrual syndrome
- Helps in combating painful conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis
- Prevents emotional overeating
- Helps manage ADHD
- Slows down the aging
- Helps you live longer
Which Meditation Is The Right One For You?
There are countless types of meditations that you could try. There is a Zen meditation, which is one of the most basic among the meditations. Then you have the compassion meditation wherein the object of focus is the feeling of love and compassion for your fellow beings. You may also practice transcendental meditation, wherein the person will repetitively focus on a mantra.
The choice is yours. At the end of the day, all the meditation techniques have been designed to help you stay calm, focus, centered, and grounded. It helps you to become more mindful, thereby warding the suffering that you experience due to stress. It teaches you to live in the present instead of worrying about the past or the future.
But can meditation alone do help in slowing down aging and give all the above mentioned benefit that would help you lead a healthier life longer? Well, while the study conducted used participants where had an average healthy lifestyle, it would be advisable to practice meditation along with regular exercising and a good eating and sleeping routine to live longer.
What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments or on the Howtogetrid Facebook Page !