Meditation Techniques for Anti-Aging
Mindfulness Meditation is the secret of a youthful mind and body. There are many simple meditation techniques or meditation exercises, all have a tremendous healing power. Whether it’s guided meditation, chakra meditation, japa meditation, or even meditation music, they are sure to slow down the aging process.
Every morning perhaps you notice a sign – a wrinkle here, a gray hair there, an ache, a pain or a little bulge somewhere. It’s imperative that we become our own advocates for healthy aging. Meditation has been clinically proven to have myriad psychological and physical benefits, from measurably lower blood pressure and stress hormones, to patient-reported improvement in depression, anxiety, and PTSD, to helping people successfully avoid addiction relapse. It can also simply be a great addition to your day if you’re trying to be more mindful and present.
But some experts claim that meditation can do even more…like turn back your biological clock? There’s some evidence to suggest that meditation may have some anti-aging properties for both your mind and your body. To determine if this is just hype or if there’s some grounded science behind this idea, let’s first take a quick look at how your body ages.
How the Body Ages
Our DNA is replicating over and over again in our body as our cells die, and replenish at regularly scheduled intervals. The DNA in our chromosomes is capped on the ends by protective proteins called telomeres, whose eventual deterioration has been identified by several studies as essential to the aging process.
Each time our cells replicate throughout our life, our telomeres get a little bit shorter. So as we age and our telomeres get shorter, DNA (and therefore cell) replication becomes more difficult and less accurate, leading to the issues we see all over the body: loss of memory and nerve function, loss of collagen elasticity, you name it.
So, if our telomeres are the key to the aging process, what can we do to keep our telomeres longer…for longer? Most of the current research suggests that the two biggest contributors to telomere maintenance are sleep and stress.
The Role of Sleep and Stress in Aging
If you love to get your beauty rest, you may sometimes feel as if you’re sleeping your life away. But really, you’re resting your way toward a longer life! In fact, the 2017 Nobel Prize winners in medicine and physiology uncovered the molecular mechanisms that control our sleep cycles, and the researchers suggest that sticking to your body’s predisposed sleep cycle is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
And then we come to stress: several studies have suggested that heightened stress levels, especially those that are maintained over long periods of time (that is, chronic stress) cause our telomeres to shorten much faster that they would otherwise, speeding up how our bodies age.
Well, that sounds like bad news for anyone with a busy schedule, right? Day-to-day life can be stressful, and getting enough shuteye can feel like a full-time job in itself. But here’s where meditation comes in–all those studies about how meditation physically affects your body? They stack up!
Mindfulness Meditation Reverse Aging – Scientific Evidence
Meditation is the most potent form of holistic medicine.A growing body of research supports the immediate benefits of meditation, such as reduce stress and anxiety levels, lower blood pressure, and enhanced happiness. Studies on mindfulness interventions show these effects are common in as few as eight weeks. While these initial perks may be reason enough for us to practice, meditation’s positive impact appears to be even more far-reaching, potentially adding years to our lives and improving cognitive function well into old age.
The genome and epigenetics are beginning to reveal more about how meditation works. Scientists have isolated length of telomeres and telomerase as indicators of cellular aging. Our cells contain chromosomes or sequences of DNA. Telomeres are short segments of DNA which mark the ends of every chromosome, playing a significant role against the wear and tear. In time, they shorten with each cell division, finally becoming too short to protect the chromosome, leading the cell to malfunction and the body to age. As a conclusion, it seems logic that if we find a way to manipulate and sustain the integrity of these telomeres, it would obviously greatly impact on the human lifespan, avoiding the inevitable cellular aging process.
Small group of scientists around the world have found that meditation increases the telomere and thereby reverse aging.
Meditation – Reverses Your Biological Age
We all know that stress is bad for us, but I’m here to break the really bad news: Doctors are calling stress the “black plague” of our century! Chronic stress can lead to any number of psychological and physical problems, and your skin is not immune to stress. Case in point: There’s an entirely new, cutting-edge field called psychodermatology that focuses solely on the connection between human emotions and the health of our skin.
So, why is meditation the number one anti-aging trick? When we get stressed out, the body produces acid to shut down digestion. That same acid seeps onto your skin, which accelerates aging and breaks down skin elasticity. There is a reason why your yoga teacher looks younger than her age. Meditation is the most powerful stress-relieving tool we have. And the beautiful part about it is that once you have some training in a style you love, your body can perform at the top of its game.
Benefits of Meditation in Youthfulness
Decreases levels of stress hormones
Feeling anxious doesn’t do anyone any favours. As it’s considered to be a fundamental type of therapeutic medicine for the mind and body, meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a sense of tranquility to help put your mind at ease. When you meditate, you are clearing your thoughts and allowing your mind to make room for positive perspectives on how to deal with those stressful situations. This decreases your stress levels, giving a strong immune system, healthy skin tissues and most importantly a positive mentality.
Increase hormone levels of oxytocin
Meditation is thought to increase the activity of oxytocin in the brain. This is a hormone that increases its levels when you hug someone, and it also supposedly has anti-ageing benefits.
Improves your sleeping pattern
Is it really that simple to feel tired from not doing a lot at all? Yes, it certainly is. But when meditation is performed regularly it can increase the productivity of the body’s melatonin, which is a hormone made in the brain’s pineal gland that helps to control your sleep cycles.
As well as improving your sleeping pattern, melatonin also helps with anti-ageing, enhancing your health by slowing down any cell damage.
Regulates cardiac function
Heart rhythm is a form of meditation that seeks to build the body’s circulation and nervous system to improve its relationship between the heart, mind and emotions. It’s a great tool to combat ageing because It focusses on coordinating breathing techniques with the heart activity, strengthening the heart by regulating heartbeats.
Increase levels of the enzyme telomerase
Your mind’s wellbeing can have a positive or negative impact on your physical health and research has suggested that more telomerase means better health. So what is telomerase and how can I get it? The telomere is the compound of structures located at the ends of your chromosomes, and like a knot at the end of the thread, they prevent any activity of the chromosome from unraveling. Telomerase are responsible for repairing these telomeres, so older people tend to have shorter telomeres, and each time a cell reproduces, its telomeres shrink, causing its ability to protect the chromosome to be deflated, which is in turn a cause of ageing, according to researchers.
Daily meditation decreases negative emotions
Meditation releases emotions that have been bottling up in your body to ease tensions and constraints. Instead of running away from negative emotions, you acknowledge its presence and directly face difficult challenges in a calm and relaxed manner. It is a practice to be open-minded and be engaged to different thoughts and feelings. The principle is to relive the youthfulness with openness.
Meditation provides a daily dose of energy into your body
The basis of meditation is deep breathing, which brings oxygen deep down into your lungs. It acts as energizers to relieve from stress and anxiety. Increased oxygen helps to rejuvenate your skin, aligning your mental state to your physical state.
In essence, meditation is a time for you to solely focus on yourself and bridge the gap between your mind and body. When you are more conscious of your well being, you will make a greater effort to improving your health.
How to Start Meditating at Home
Meditation is easy to learn. To be ready, all you need are comfort, quiet, a meditative tool such as a mantras and a meditative attitude.
- Go to a private place by yourself or with another meditator where you won’t be interrupted.
- Allow 10-20 minutes fro meditation and stick with it. You can look at your watch on occasion but don’t set an alarm, because it might startle you and ruin your relaxation.
- Sit down on a comfortable mat, cushion or chair and try to relax every muscle in your body from bottom to top. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
- To help stop your internal dialogue and health calm down, silently repeat a word or mantra. It can be religious or philosophical, as long as it makes you feel good. When thoughts intrude, just say, “Oh, well” to yourself and start all over.
- Adopt a calm, passive attitude, a neutral mind in which you don’t judge yourself or others.
- After you finish, sit quietly for a couple of minutes and try to carry your calm, anti-aging, meditative attitude into your daily activities.