In a world where constant exhaustion and long hours are glorified as markers of success, being still is underrated. And what better way to stay still than to meditate?
Meditation doesn’t necessarily require rose quartz crystals or emptying your mind to attain a higher state of consciousness. It can be as simple as sitting in a place, focusing on breathing, and being mindful of your body, thoughts, and emotions.
The Science Behind Stress and Ageing
Our body has protein caps called telomeres at the end of the chromosomes. During cell division, the chromosome shortens the telomeres.
When telomeres become too short, the cell can no longer divide and replicate, increasing ageing in our body.
When we are stressed :
our heart rate goes up
our breathing gets faster and heavier
our digestion slows
our body releases glucose and fat into our bloodstream to give us the energy to respond to stress
All these actions lead to faster telomerase division, which speeds up the ageing process.
Meditation and its Benefits
An experiment studied the stress faced by mothers with chronically ill children versus mothers with healthy children. The results showed mothers caring for seriously ill children had shorter telomeres than the other group.
Our body produces telomerase which lengthens telomeres after cell division. Just 10 minutes of daily meditation supports telomerase production and reduces ageing.
Besides stress reduction, the benefits of meditation are:
improves the quality of sleep
improves concentration and memory
improves your emotional health
reduces blood pressure
reduces brain decay
Meditation enables you to introspect and create a better internal environment that helps you grasp reality.
Guided meditation apps like Headspace and Calm can help you learn simple techniques to build an effective meditation practice.
So, don’t just do something, sit there and meditate!