One of my enduring best tips to meditate on a daily basis that I come back to again and again, is to look at the benefits of meditation.
Knowing the benefits of our practice helps us to want to meditate, because we are clear on why we are meditating.
We all know the main benefits: relaxation, focus, better decision making, less stress, better health, lowered blood pressure, and many more.
However, the research that has come up with these highly motivating reasons to meditate is ever changing, as more and more studies are carried out all over the world.
Meditation and Ageing
University of California researchers published an article in Lancet Oncology showing that a health regime including yoga and meditation reduces ageing!
To understand the study, we have to have a basic understanding of telomeres. Telomeres protect the end of chromosomes. Long telomeres are good. Short = bad. As we get older, they shorten. (If you want more info, see the Wikipedia article on telomeres)
The study looked at 35 men with low level prostrate cancer. Some underwent comprehensive lifesyle changes including yoga and meditation, increased social support and a vegetarian diet. The group that followed this healthy program was found to have longer telomeres in their human immune system cells than the control group. This means that in genetic terms, their cells were younger.
Their telomeres increased in length by an average of 10% over 5 years. In contrast, the group that didn’t change their lifestyle habits had telomeres 3% shorter at the end of a 5 year period.
This isn’t the first time that telomere length has been linked to health in humans. A 2008 study by Kings College London found that a sedentary lifestyle leads to shorter telomeres, while a more active, fitter lifestyle lengthens them.
So if you need some motivation to meditate, think about how those minutes on the mat could be reversing the ageing process!
If you would like some motivating tips to meditate daily, check out my book on Amazon!