How to Meditate Your Way to Anti-Aging –
The case of Benjamin Button who became younger throughout the years always seemed like such a fascinating idea. A man who’s skin experiences reverse aging? The general populations fascination with maintaining a youthful appearance continues to skyrocket. Americans spend over $10 billion each year on invasive anti-aging procedures such as Botox, face lifts and breast augmentation surgery.
But what if we told you that you could get anti-aging results without all these painful and risky treatments? Experts say that by meditating for 30 minutes in the morning + 30 minutes at night for 30 days straight, you could begin to see amazing benefits both inside and out. Bigger boobs? Maybe not, but developing a heart filled with patience and stillness inside can also create visible results on the outside — in the most literal sense of the word.
What is Meditation?
It means a lot of things to a wide array of people. A moment of silence, self contemplation, prayer to whatever higher power you believe in, a pep talk before a sports game. Then there is mindful or focused meditation where you tune into your breath, the flame of a candle or a specific region of your body. The goal during mindful meditation is to continually bringing your attention back to a focal point, even if your mind wonders off to a conversation you just had or an meeting scheduled two hours from now. By doing this, for even 20 minutes, you have the ability to decrease the beta waves in your brain. Your frontal lobe, responsible for reasoning and emotions, goes offline during meditation. The parietal lobe, responsible for orientating you to time and space, slows down during meditation. The thalamus, aka your senses, is quieted and information trickles in at a much slower pace during meditation. Last, the reticular formation responsible for incoming stimuli is dialed back. The crazy thing to consider is that some of this doesn’t even happen when we sleep meaning that meditation, dare we say it, is better than sleep.
How It Works
Meditation stimulates the pineal gland to produce melatonin, although scientists are not clear on exactly how. Studies have shown that melatonin levels increase immediately after meditating. Melatonin is a hormone and is most commonly known for it’s contribution to a good night’s sleep, but it’s also responsible for so much more. Did you know that melatonin slows the aging process and energizes the immune system? This incredible hormone also has the ability to repair damaged cells that are a product of aging.
Not only does it affect our hearts, minds and relationships with others but it brings down our immune system. Digestion, quality of sleep, your ability to fight off cold/infection all is influenced by the daunting five letter word, STRESS. You can use wonderful non-toxic products on your skin or eat raw + organic food but if you lead a life filled with stress, you may be undoing all those positive benefits. If stress is a factor for you, it’s important to have a method for releasing it. Un-plug from technology and pair down with meditation so that body, mind and spirit can battle the demons of stress. Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stress induced cortisol in your body. By giving yourself the means to release stress from your body, you will have the ability to better absorb nutrition and live a longer, healthier life.
Meditation loosens the connections in our neural pathways which is a very positive thing. In the section of our brain that processes information relating to ourselves and our experiences (the medial prefrontal cortex) the neural pathways are tight knit. Getting scared or anxious only tightens these pathways and by weakening this connection through meditation, we simultaneously allow a better connection with the reasoning center of our brain. We’re then able to logically evaluate emotion situations and react more calmly and efficiently. The overall effect of meditation for anyone who suffers from anxiety can be astounding.
A 30-day challenge is difficult to commit to when you first begin meditation and studies show that the biggest benefits come from committing to meditation as a way of life. A group of people who mediated for over five years participated in a scientific study and showed that they aged much slower than the group of people who did not meditate. Those who meditated appeared up to 12 years younger as they were able to slow down their aging process, thus welcoming the potential for longer and fuller lives. With that said, begin today by meditating for 2 minutes. By beginning with a small and attainable habit, you give yourself permission to achieve your goal.
Meditation offers so many amazing benefits including becoming more creative, compassionate, improving rapid memory recall and creating larger amounts of grey matter in the hippocampus and frontal areas of the brain. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!