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Age Better With Meditation

Age Better With Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that has become increasingly popular in the Western world. Meditation is a practice that focuses on relaxation, mindfulness, and breathing techniques.

Although there are a number of meditation techniques, they all have the same broad focus. Meditation is often combined with yoga, and has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally.

One such benefit of engaging in regular meditation is the effect it can have on the aging process. Unfortunately, we all have to grow older and many people try to mitigate these aging effects. There are many medications, creams, techniques, and suggestions for how to try to manage this aging process, and indeed how to slow down or reverse the natural aging process.

Meditation has now been shown to be a critical tool in the fight against the natural aging process. Scientists are now interested in how personal experiences, and meditation in particular, can influence, and potentially slow down the aging process. The idea is that there is a connection between mental and physical processes; initially researchers were interested in the effects of stress but this has since developed.

As scientists have shown, stress can have a negative effect on the aging process, so it makes sense, that if we manage stress, we can manage the aging process better.
Meditation is a key way to reduce stress levels, so it follows that by meditating regularly, we can reduce the aging process. It helps to strengthen the body’s natural response to stress, which can reduce the negative health effects from too much stress.

Recent research has shown that individuals who meditate at least four times a week have an average longer life expectancy. Furthermore, meditation can actually reverse the effects of the aging process. Scientists at Harvard University have found that as we get older the prefrontal cortex part of our brain becomes thinner, thus affecting our cognitive abilities. However, the prefrontal cortex in people who meditate does not thin anywhere near as much. Therefore, regular meditation can actually affect the physical structure of the brain and prevent some of the cognitive decline associated with the aging process.

In another US study, scientists found people who regularly meditate have an improved blood flow in their brains. Blood flow is a key component of memory abilities, and increased blood flow can help stop memory declining during the aging process.
The science behind meditation improving aging lies in a part of the chromosome called telomeres; essentially these protective caps on the ends of chromosomes can help protect us against the effects of aging. These telomeres are essential in the aging process, and provide a sort of clock or control system that dictates the aging process.

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In short, as we get older, these telomeres get shorter until the cell eventually dies. When enough cells die, we experience an age related decline in that particular function.
Meditation’s effects on these telomeres have been scientifically studied through brain imaging techniques. Although research is reasonably new, it has found that meditation can actually stop these telomeres from getting shorter.

Moreover, people with shorter telomeres are more likely to develop heart and kidney disease as well as other age related disorders such as osteoarthritis. Meditation is suggested to cause such physical changes in the brain by engaging processes that can have this effect, particularly regular meditation.

Although the science is still emerging, it would seem that not only does meditation make us feel better and less stressed; it has a physical effect on our brain.
By helping to reduce stress, we are combating the aging process, as well as the general negative effects of stress. Moreover, meditation seems to have a physical effect on the brain and can mitigate the effects of aging.

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