Riederike Fabritius, an internationally renowned neuroscientist and leadership expert, recently noticed the positive changes in her father, who’s 73 years old, after he started practicing meditation.
In her email to The Epoch Times, Fabritius wrote, “My dad described it as such an amazing experience, allowing
him to just block out all ruminations and negative thoughts, and he was instantly hooked after the first session.”
The meditation effect felt by her elderly father was immediate, and he became fully present at the moment.
In Fabritius’s professional opinion, although not everyone will experience the same dramatic effect, meditation can help all of us live longer, age better, and lead happier lives.
According to the World Health Organization, people worldwide are living longer lives. However, the number of healthy years after retirement remains about the same. Although some health problems in seniors are genetic, most are due to their lifestyle, physical environment, and social support.
Meditation May Help You Live Longer
Dr. Zachary Ginder, a psychological consultant, and a lifelong yogi told The Epoch Times by email, “Research has suggested that certain meditation practices, through the reduction in stress and rumination, may support chromosomal health and prevent the deterioration of telomeres.”
Meditation Can Help Your Brain Age Better
Meditation has been shown to improve cognitive function, reduce cognitive decline, and help maintain focus. It has also been shown to boost memory and concentration.
Meditation Can Slow Down Your Brain’s Aging and Degeneration
As we age, our brain degenerates and shrinks due to the loss of neurons, reduced blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and decreased neurotransmitters, as well as the shrinkage of certain areas of the brain. Studies suggest that a healthy lifestyle that reduces cardiovascular risk will also benefit the brain.
An analysis of a large sample of long-term meditators and non-meditators revealed that at the age of 50, the brains of the meditators were about 7.5 years younger than those of the non-meditators. After age 50, for every additional year, the meditators’ brains were approximately 50 days younger than their actual age. Thus, meditation can significantly lower the speed of brain aging, is beneficial for brain preservation, and can effectively protect the brain from age-related atrophy.
A longitudinal study yielded a similar conclusion, that is, meditation may make your brain younger. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison observed and analyzed the brain-aging profile of a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was a daily meditator, over the course of 18 years.
The researchers used brain imaging to estimate the subject’s “brain age.” When his brain was last scanned for the project at the age of 41, it was found to be on par with the brain of an average 33-year-old, or eight years younger than his chronological age. The researchers also compared his brain with a general population sample of 105 adults and discovered that it aged slower than those of the sample population. Researchers concluded that meditation may be associated with slowed biological aging.