It has long been known and proven that meditation lowers stress levels, changes our mood and improves our mental wellbeing. It has now also been proven that in recent studies at the University of California, San Francisco, that meditation has a positive effect on your body at the cellular level. It can actually slow the aging process.
In the study the Telomeres (A telomere is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration) in Chromosomes were found to be affected by meditation in a very positive way. Telomeres have a vital role in how and why cells age.
The longer your Telomeres, the more likely you are to age slowly and are less vulnerable to disease. The reverse of this is also true, the shorter your Telomeres the more vulnerable you are to disease and the quicker you age.
In the study it was shown that people who practiced daily meditation had longer Telomeres, and therefore the aging of their body at the cellular level slowed. Better cellular health and improved immune system are what we all need to increase our longevity and our health and fitness in general. All this is great news if you’ve been practicing meditation of any kind in your life.
Over the last Ten years I have started to practice meditation. If you’ve never looked at Meditation, you may be wondering what it’s all about, Eastern Philosophy or even Religion. But simply put meditation is none of those things, unless you want it to be.
From my own experience, I would say it is about focussing on one thing and closing off from the outside world. If you’ve never done it, I would definitely recommend it. It takes a little practice, but with a bit of patience it’s definitely achievable and worthwhile.
There are many ways to achieve this truly amazing state of relaxation. I usually keep it very simple, and have outlined below two of the methods that I use. Time to do this is minimal; you don’t need any more than 15 minutes a day.
1. Find a place at home or anywhere that is quiet where you won’t be disturbed.
2. Sit in a comfortable chair with plenty of back support, so that you can relax.
3. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, taking relaxing breaths in and out.
4. Some people focus on one word or one picture in their mind. I usually focus on the mental image of a candle flame against a Blue background. This needs some practice.
1. Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
2. This time listen to a piece of your favourite relaxing music, or find a piece of music to meditate by. There are a lot of tracks on youtube.
The big difference here is you concentrate only on the music and let yourself become part of it. Do not allow the distractions that usually happen, when you’re listening to music.
If you practice this every day for a week, I think you will want to make it part of your “me time”.
Let me know what you think in the comments box below.