Studies Prove That Meditation Keeps You Young
Scientists now have proof that people who meditate just 10 minutes a day can slow the aging process of their bodies considerably.
According to the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, scientists recently compared the levels of an age-related hormone called DHEA-S (dehydroe-paindosterone sulfate) in meditators to those of people who don’t meditate.
ln’the study, the level of DHEA-S of 423 meditators was compared to that of 1,252 healthy non-meditators. The subjects were divided into groups according to their age. Meditators were compared to nonmeditators who were in the same age group.
Meditating females showed higher levels of DHEA-S levels than nonmeditatiing women in every age group. Men under age 40 showed little variation, but after age 40, meditators began to show significantly higher levels of the youth hormone than nonmeditators.
Scientists have also long noted that over a lifetime, people who have meditated for 10 years or more have lifespans that are 20 years longer on average than people who do not meditate.
What Kind of Meditation is Best?
No doubt, the word meditation has conjured up some scary or negative images in many of you . Perhaps you pictured Zen monks with heads shaved doing weird things in a monastery on some remote mountaintop, or long-haired, freaky hippy people smoking pot and sitting in a cross-legged position.
But not all meditation is so far out. In fact, meditation can be as simple as finding a quiet, undisturbed place to sit while you calm down, count your breaths and clear your mind of your worries for 10 minutes each day.
Meditation is not necessarily associated with any particular religion, although many religions employ it as part of their practices. You can choose to meditate simply as a way to calm down and get control of your life.
It doesn’t take a lot of time. You are not required to buy any expensive equipment. You don’t need a teacher and you don’t have to enroll in a class to learn how to do it better.
Here is an easy kind of meditation you can try, and which just about anyone can perform successfully:
(1) Find a quiet room where you will not be disturbed by people, telephones or distracting noise from televisions or radios.
(2) You can either sit in a chair or lie flat on your back with your arms at your side. If you sit in a chair, you should not slouch, but sit straight up so that your spinal cord is perpendicular with the floor and ceiling. A firm table chair is best. A soft chair or a soft bed to lie on may put you to sleep. You do not want to go to sleep.
(3) Once you have yourself positioned, you should take three deep breaths to relax. Tell yourself that you will relax a bit more after each deep breath.
(4) After the three breaths, you should start counting your breaths. Count one inhale and one exhale as one, the next inhale and exhale as two, and so on. When you get to four, start over with one and proceed again to four, and so on.
(5) You should keep as much of your attention as possible on your breathing. The object of meditation is to clear the mind, but the problem is, the more you try the harder it will be. A key is not to try too hard, or perhaps riot to try at all, if that makes sense. Instead of trying to fight off your thoughts, just let them flow through your mind. Let them come and go without paying much attention to them. Just keep reminding yourself that the breathing is your primary concern right now. When your thoughts stray away and get caught up within themselves, gently but firmly bring your thoughts back to your breath counting.
(6) You may find this simple meditation deceptively difficult. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, keeping your mind clear is remarkably difficult to do. Lots of thoughts are always crowding in and clamoring to be heard. But don’t be daunted if you feel like you are not succeeding at first. . It’s the process itself that is what we are after, not the result. When it comes to meditation, the road itself is the goal, and not what lies at the end of the road.
That’s it. If you set aside 10 minutes each day, or perhaps twice a day, and practice this simple breathing meditation exercise, you can add 20 years to your life.
It almost seems too simple, doesn’t it? Well. Albert Einstein once said that it takes a genius to see the obvious. When it comes to meditation, you don’t have to be a genius to do something that’s incredibly simple, yet most enormously beneficial to your overall life.
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