Well it was previously thought that you could not stop the ageing process, but now there is plenty of evidence that shows you can slow the ageing process in a number of ways, including a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, diet, being relaxed i.e. not stressed, and more recently, meditation.
That’s right meditation plays a big role in our physiological health. Obviously we cannot stop time but we can slow our body’s ageing process, to bring your physiological age right down.
Effect of Meditation on Anti Ageing
Telomeres are the amazing components that have been related to the age of our bodies. Short telomeres tend to be associated to faster ageing. So if you are like me I’d like to ensure I keep my telomeres longer to stay as healthy as possible for longer.
Lots of research has now shown that meditation is a great method that can slow ageing.
A very popular meditation and one I do regularly is the Buddhists’ Loving-Kindness Meditation. I was taught it in one of Dr David Hamilton’s workshops, and used it ever since. It helps you cultivate a sentiment of love, kindness, and compassion for yourself and others. It always makes me feel calm with a warm glow and I feel less triggered by people that have caused me stress when I think about them.
What’s great is that scientists have studied the effect of the Loving-Kindness Meditation on the length of telomeres. Fifteen practitioners of the Meditation were compared with 22 people in a control group. They were all around the same chronological age. Each person had their telomeres measured.
Results of Loving Kindness Meditation Study
And if you’re a female reading this, you’ll be very pleased to know that Female practitioners who used Loving-Kindness Meditation had the longest telomeres of all! Hence the study suggests that this meditation seems to effect both sexes favourably but women gain even more benefit.
As discussed earlier if someone has an unhealthy diet, lifestyle, or lots of stress, they will tend to have shorter telomeres and so their body ages faster. A person whose chronological age is 40 but who leads a very unhealthy lifestyle might have a physiological age of 58. Another person with the same chronological age but who leads a very healthy life might have a physiological age of 29.
The length of your telomeres is a good estimate of your physiological age. So this is one of the occasions when size and length matters!!
So the Loving-Kindness Meditation basically reduces our physiological age. You really can grow younger! You can’t become chronologically younger, but it’s your physiological age that ultimately matters.
“So how do I do the meditation”, I hear you ask?
You can use the following set of statements:
May ____ be filled with loving kindness,
May ____ be well,
May ____ be peaceful and at ease,
May ____ be happy, and
May ____ be free of suffering.
Where I’ve put a ____, insert first yourself (May I be…) and repeat it three times, then choose a loved one (May X be…), and again repeat three times, followed by someone emotionally neutral to you, again three times, then a difficult person in your life; that’s someone from the present or past who causes or has caused you stress and who still triggers your negative emotions. Again you wish them the sentiments three times. Then you finish by wishing the sentiment to all sentient beings, again three times. That’s one cycle.
You can do this meditation for just 1 cycle or as many as you wish. You can focus on your loved ones or people that have caused you stress in your life. There is no rule that says you have to do it in any particular way. What matters most is the sentiment of love, kindness, and compassion. And then note the change after you have practiced this several times.
Remember by doing this you can help prevent telomeres shortening, which is turn helps slow down the ageing process. Got to be worth a shot for mental, emotional, physical wellbeing, quality of life, along with a bit of vanity too, don’t you think?
Get meditating and enjoy!!