Can meditation slow down aging?
Everyone of us over age 30 would love to know how to slow down aging. You wake up in the morning and find yet another grey hair, or laughter line around your eyes.
We’re all getting older every day, and you can’t stop time. However there are so many other things that determine how you age.
Stress, poor diet, smoking, drinking, and chronic health conditions can all make you look and feel older.
Of course aging also comes down to genes. If you’re lucky and have parents with good genes, then chances are you will have as well.
While meditation can’t cure health conditions such as cancer or heart disease, it can certainly help manage many physical and mental issues associated with aging.
Are telomeres the fountain of youth?
You may not have heard of telomeres but they play a big part in aging. They’re basically groups of cells at the end of chromosomes, and provide protection during cell division,
Every time a cell divides the protective telomere frays very slightly. Over time these telomeres become shorter until they can no longer function properly. As a result cells start to age and die. This is a natural part of the aging process, but poor health and bad lifestyle choices will accelerate it.
This is why the elderly are far more at risk of disease and degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis, than younger people.
So you see the importance of looking after your health. Many diseases and health problems are entirely preventable, but you know it’s never too late to make changes and even reverse the aging process.
There is an enzyme known as telomerase which plays a vital role in repairing frayed telomeres, and this is one of the keys in reversing aging and maintaining good health.
Studies have shown that those with prematurely damaged telomeres are at a far greater risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Studies have also encouragingly shown that meditation seems to stimulate the genes which produce telomerase. And this ultimately helps protect against cellular aging.
It’s been found that even people who’ve never meditated before, providing they stick to a daily routine of meditation, can expect to see a reduction in levels of stress and anxiety within as little as six to eight weeks.
As stress is a major factor in telomere damage you can easily see how meditation can benefit not only your health but also help slow aging.
Is meditation the new facelift?
While it’s a well known fact that stress affects your physical health, not many people realise the effect it can have on your skin.
The body releases a hormone known as cortisol during times of stress. Long term or chronic stress will mean higher levels. A big downside to this is increased blood sugar levels.
Though you may think this is only related to diabetes, it can also decrease the production of collagen.
Over time your skin will begin to look sallow, and you may see an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen makes up 70% of skin, so stress and anxiety really will start to show in your face unless you do something about it.
There are many expensive creams on the market, claiming to contain collagen. While they may be good quality and make your skin feel smooth, unless the molecules are small enough they won’t pass through the skin.
As meditation relieves stress, making you feel calmer, it also helps lower blood sugar levels. As a result your skin will maintain higher levels of collagen.
Over time you may notice a reduction in fine lines. You may also notice the dark circles under your eyes have faded, and your skin has started to look fresh and glowing!
All this without paying out for a facelift or creams!
Regain the suppleness of youth with meditation and yoga
When you think of an older or elderly person you may imagine them as having stiff joints and walking very slowly.
This symbol is typified on some rural roads in the UK, with road signs telling you to be aware of elderly folk crossing, showing two figures bent over with walking sticks!
Growing old doesn’t have to mean creaky joints and poor mobility. If you start practicing meditation daily and lower your levels of stress, you will help stop a decrease in bone density.
Although osteoporosis can be heredity, it could be made worse by stress. You see, stress is a big factor in bone density loss.
While meditation itself won’t make you supple, if you combine it with yoga you may soon start to see amazing results.
The benefits of feeling calm and centered will in itself relax your body, easing tension around the neck and shoulders. When you combine this with yoga you’ll notice a big increase in suppleness.
It won’t be overnight, but you may start to see an improvement in flexibility over the coming weeks and months.
As I mentioned previously you’re never too old to start, and you certainly don’t need to go out and buy expensive equipment!
can meditation help arthritis?
Meditation can’t cure arthritis, but it can help manage the chronic pain. Arthritis can affect you at any age, but is more commonly associated with the elderly.
It can have a serious effect on mobility and quality of life.
By practicing mindfulness you can shift your focus from the pain itself by dealing with the thoughts around it.
You may even be able to reduce the amount of painkillers you need which in itself is a good thing.
Can meditation help age related insomnia?
Poor sleep is commonly experienced in old age. Waking up multiple times during the night means your body isn’t getting long periods of deep restorative sleep.
It’s during deep sleep that cell damage is repaired, and if you’re not getting enough slow wave deep sleep you may also suffer from depression and poor memory.
If you want to boost the effect of meditation, especially if you’re new to it you could try listening to binaural tones
You’ll find entering meditation easier and faster.
Delta wave binaural beats are the slowest wave length and ideal for deep meditation.
As you age production of melatonin decreases. This hormone produced by the pineal gland plays a vital role in sleep, as well as keeping your immune system healthy.
Studies have shown that levels of melatonin increase immediately after meditation. You don’t need to have been practicing it for any length of time for this to happen either.
People who’ve been meditating regularly for 5 or more years not only look younger, but studies have shown their biological ages are between 10 and fifteen years younger.
I hope this article has helped to show you that meditation can slow down aging, and that you start right away!
Have a great day!