Meditation is one of the most ancient forms of spiritual practice. Buddhists have used it to connect with self-awareness and as a form of prayer. In the modern world, meditation has become one of the most popular ways to combat stress, anxiety and depression. Recent research has even revealed that meditation can be used to prevent premature aging. Medical research shows that consistent meditation balances the body’s hormones and helps the brain maintain proper function. Over time, this can translate into a more youthful vigor that shines through for many years to come. Below we have listed the most powerful anti-aging benefits of meditation that you can except from your practice.
It Strengthens the Pre-frontal Cortex
The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for planning our life and focusing our attention on important areas of it. As we age, the lining of the pre-frontal cortex becomes thinner and affects our ability to think and focus. However, Sara Lazar, PhD at Harvard’s psychiatry department revealed that the pre-frontal cortex of meditators was thicker than that of non-meditators. This means that meditation helps you stay youthful from the inside out!
It Increases Melatonin
Melatonin regulates the sleep cycle and hormones throughout our body. It has also been proven to slow down the aging process, amp up the immune system, and help prevent cell damage. Increased amounts of Melatonin correspond to better sleep patterns and more energy, which also contribute to anti-aging throughout the body. During meditation, vast amounts of this hormone are released, providing all of the benefits listed above.
It Reduces Stress
Modern medicine has revealed that stress is just as bad for our health and aging as obesity and smoking. Meditation helps us counteract the stress we all face on a daily basis. By cleansing the mind and letting go of thoughts and feelings that don’t serve us, meditation helps us reduce stress and all of its negative effects. This in turn prevents fine lines and premature cell damage.
It Helps Eliminates Wear & Tear on the Body
By spending just an hour a day (or even just 20 minutes) in a meditative state, you can effectively prevent the premature aging of your body. We spend so much of our time in a hyperactive stress out state that we often forget that it isn’t our natural state. Relaxation through meditation gives us a chance to reconnect with our calmer self, and helps us ward off unnecessary after-effects of stress, which ultimately put a strain on our bodies.
It Helps with Anxiety
The neural pathways of the brain are tightened and weakened when we suffer from persistent anxiety. This causes us to think unclearly and illogically. This in turn increases anxiety and causes us to age much more quickly than we would otherwise. Meditation reverses this trend. It loosens the neural pathways and increases our brain’s ability to make rational connections. As your brain and body align in near perfect balance, it begins to relax and age much more slowly than it would otherwise. By taking up a relaxing and consistent meditation, you can turn back the clock and reconnect your body’s ability to fight off cell damage caused by stressors and environmental factors.
The best part of meditation is that anyone can practice it right from their very own home! Start your meditation practice today and reap the numerous anti-aging benefits in the future. Follow the link for more information on how to practice meditation, mindfulness or creative visualization.
Much ink has been spilled about the importance of a physical detox. While purging all of the harmful toxins that have collected within the body is crucial to long term health, it is not nearly as pivotal as purging the mental toxins. In order to get the absolute most out of any wellness program, you must first clear out all of your mental clutter. Removing the clutter from your mind starts with removing the clutter from your living space. The more clutter and junk that you allow yourself to accumulate, the harder it can become to let it go at the appropriate time. By finally taking the time to get rid of your physical clutter, you are further equipped to tackle the task of handling your mental clutter.
Switch off the TV or any other source from which you are hearing bad news. Constantly hearing bad news puts you into a negative state with negative thinking patterns. Instead, read inspirational and motivational articles, books and biographies. Subscribe to daily positive and motivational emails. Monitor your thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts say “STOP” and think of something wonderful instead. Controlling your thoughts this way is so powerful and can encourage very positive changes in your mood, your relationships, your work and your life.
Focus on what you are grateful for. Start a gratitude journal and write down the 5 things you are grateful for every morning or night. Take notice of your self-talk. Do you speak to yourself with kindness, compassion and love or do you beat yourself up with put-downs and criticism? Write down some constructive and loving affirmations and recite these to yourself as you look yourself in the eye in the mirror. Speak to yourself with love and kindness. Tell yourself you love you. Begin a ritual of doing this every day for at least 5 minutes in the morning. It may seem silly at first, maybe even fake. But continue to do this until it seems less and less fake and until you actually believe it.
Meditation is one of the best forms of mental detox. Meditation does not require the purchase of any fancy equipment or a membership to a club. It can be done in the space that you already have and can slot easily into your busy schedule. There are many guided meditations available free on the internet and YouTube. Even if you only have fifteen minutes to spare each day, meditation can still deliver the desired results. See our Meditation page for more information. Your mind is a powerful tool, it simply needs to be taken care of in the correct manner. Meditation gives us the chance to work through underlying emotions and traumas and a long stretch of silence can often be just what the doctor ordered. Thoughts that were once dormant inside of your mind and merely taking up space can now be accessed, processed and removed, increasing your mental space and your mental state.
Another way to remove unwanted thoughts from your head space is to participate in a regular exercise program. We are all aware of the fact that exercise provides us with a tremendous boost to our overall energy level. But what the majority of people do not realize is that exercise is also a great aid to our thinking processes. A person who exercises on a consistent basis will experience heightened levels of serotonin within the brain. Serotonin is a natural chemical, one that is released inside of the brain when a person’s fitness level increases. Those who are in search of increased mental clarity would do well to exercise and provide themselves with a much needed serotonin boost. See our Fitness or Yoga pages for more information.
By removing mental and physical clutter and placing yourself on a regular meditation/exercise regimen, you greatly increase the effectiveness of any Wellness program. Not only is your physical wellbeing immensely important, but so is your state of mind. Don’t neglect your cluttered mind and be sure to take the right steps towards eliminating negative thought processes.