Did you know that regular meditation can make you look and feel 10-20 years younger, increase health and longevity and prevent brain-deterioration, dramatically changing what we previously thought were inevitable processes?
Recent research reveals that meditation lowers the stress chemical in the blood called cortisol. Excess cortisol kills brain cells and leads to cognitive decline. Meditation increases the blood flow to the brain, which results in less memory loss.
It also lowers blood pressure and other markers of aging and enhances psychological well-being. One of the most important discoveries is that meditation preserves the length of the telomeres (end cap of our DNA) which is a very important marker of aging and longevity: longer telomeres = less illness and longer life.
The slow brainwaves produced by meditation also promote the release of healing, growing and rejuvenating hormones such as DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), melatonin and serotonin. DHEA is a hormone that helps the body fight viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, prevents inflammation and supports the thymus gland (which programs cell lifespan).
During deep meditation, activity slows dramatically in the areas of the brain responsible for the release of stress-related substances such as cortisol and adrenaline. This wholebody/ mind deep relaxation promotes healing, cell repair and cell growth. The relaxation that comes about through meditation is far deeper even than sleep. Although DHEA does decrease naturally in the body during the course of a lifetime, there is no reason not to boost DHEA levels through the practice of meditation.
Making time and space for Meditation
The most common reason I hear for not meditating is ‘I don’t have time’. However anyone can find 10-15 minutes per day for meditation. This is a long term investment in yourself, your health and sanity. If we don’t allow ourselves time for silence and stillness, we may be heading for trouble; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Find a peaceful space in your home where you can spend time in meditation, maybe create a ‘sacred space’, a place where you can recharge, renew and find more peace and inspiration. You might place a particular object here, such as a statue, picture or candle that has meaning to you.
Choose a time to meditate that works for you. It does not necessarily have to be in the morning, but could be when you get home from work, last thing at night or any other time that fits in with your daily routine. Make this a habit and explain to other members of the family that this is your meditation time and that you must not be disturbed. Stick with this!
Benefits of Meditation
✓ Relief from stress and anxiety (decreases the production of stress hormones)
✓ Improved concentration and a clearer mind.
✓ More resilience and inner calm. Less bothered by little things.
✓ Decreased blood pressure and hypertension.
✓ Lower cholesterol levels
✓ More efficient oxygen use by the body
✓ Increased production of the anti-ageing hormone DHEA.
✓ Restful sleep.
✓ Deeper understanding of our inner self and of spirituality.
Meditation Practice – 5 to 15 min:
1. Find a comfortable position, and sit with your spine straight.
2. Take a few deep breaths, and relax.
3. Allow your breath to settle into its natural rhythm.
4. Mantra Meditation: Say silently in your mind… ‘Relax’ – as you inhale. ‘Release’ – as you exhale.