Recent research has shown improvements in brain structure in long-term meditation practitioners compared to controls. This is not an isolated study and, over the past decade, evidence suggests that meditation may help us keep our brains younger. None of us are getting any younger and daily meditation could be an effective means to better maintain brain tissue, preserve cognitive, and emotional function and to diminish the risk of dementia and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
Mindfulness or paying attention versus daydreaming absentmindedly turns out to be the key to brains aging in a healthy manner. The old adage “use it or lose it” becomes a central maxim. “Age-related debilitations can be reversed using meditation, experimental groups showed marked enhancement in intellectual functioning as well as physical health, they felt younger, more in control and had lower mortality rates and mental illness”. Mindfulness improves memory, both long and short term also alertness and adjustment 2/3 less mortality rate.
Meditation makes you happier and healthier
Experimental meditation group are more alert, more active, happier and healthier and lived longer than controls 1/2 the mortality rat.e Aging in 6 different biomarkers used and 3-year survival rates showed mindfulness training showed better biomarkers and survival rates than relaxation alone.
editation has additional benefits
Physical activity increases arousal and this,
Example of Mindfulness training in the Ancient art of T’ai Chi Chuan For centuries now the Chinese Exercises of T’ai Chi Chuan have been used in Chinese Medicine to alleviate many of the psychological and physical problems of aging. T’ai-chi practitioners experienced reductions in mood disturbance (tension, depression, anger, confusion and total mood disturbance) also improvements in general mood over exercise programs that do not include a cognitive component. Tai Chi practitioners have also been shown to have less, depression, anxiety, confusion and less total mood disturbance.
Meditation alters the biochemistry
From gene expression to stress response, our mind, endocrine glands, and immune system connect up through chemical messenger molecules sensitive to our thoughts, emotions
Nelson Mandela on Meditation!
“In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, popularity, wealth and standard of education … but internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being: honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, purity, generosity,
– Nelson Mandela, excerpt from Mandela The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson
The Guy in the Glass Poem (Man in the Mirror)
When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife,
Whose judgement upon him must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,
Is the man staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But the final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
= Dale Wimbrow, first published in The American Magazine in 1934.
Promising Links between Meditation and Reduced (Brain) Aging: An Attempt to Bridge Some Gaps between the Alleged Fountain of Youth and the Youth of the Field