This is reason enough for every single person who sees this to meditate. Really. EVERYONE can benefit from meditating only 12 minutes a day. This link goes to an important video:
Here is the transcript from Dr. Michael Greger’s site nutritionfacts.org:
Transcript: Does Meditation Affect Cellular Aging?
In my Research Into Reversing Aging, I highlighted Dean Ornish’s landmark study showing that low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, along with walking, stress management, and support could not only reverse heart disease, open up arteries without drugs and surgery, and potentially reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer, but was the first intervention ever shown to increase telomerase activity, the enzyme that builds and maintains these caps at the tips of our chromosomes called telomeres which appear to slow the aging of our cells. Yes, this new finding was exciting and should encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid or combat cancer and age-related diseases, but was it the diet, the exercise, or the stress management? That’s what researchers have been trying to tease out in the five years since this study was published.
Let’s look at stress first. In the film The Holiday, Cameron Diaz, exclaimed “Severe stress … causes the DNA in our cells to shrink until they can no longer replicate.” Did Hollywood get the science right? Do people who are stressed have shorter telomeres? To answer that question, researchers measured the telomere lengths in mothers of chronically ill children—what could be more stressful than that? The longer a woman had spent being the main carer of her ill child, the shorter were her telomeres. The extra telomere shortening in the most stressed mothers was equivalent to that caused by at least a decade of aging.
We see the same thing in caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, and those suffering severe work related exhaustion. Even those abused as children may grow up with shorter telomeres. Not much we can do about our past, but if we manage our stress can we grow some of telomeres back?
Well if you go off to on a meditation retreat and meditate for 500 hours you can indeed boost your telomerase activity. 600 hours of meditation may be beneficial as well, but come on, there’s got to be a quicker fix, and this exciting new study delivers.
Caregivers of family members with dementia randomized to just 12 minutes of daily meditation for 8 weeks, just about 10 hours in total experienced significant benefit. Better mental and psychological function accompanied by an increase in telomerase activity suggesting improvement in stress-induced cellular aging.
I highly recommend signing up for Dr. Greger’s videos. http://www.nutritionfacts.org
I bought some eggs online through my organic produce delivery service which will deliver everything tomorrow. What they wrote on the receipt made me laugh and think of a Portlandia episode:
“Eggs: One Dozen 1 Eggs: One Dozen Large Grade: From free-roaming range hens, raised by the DeHart family of Cedar Ridge Ranch in nearby Banks, Oregon. The hens’ organic diet is supplemented with organic fruits and vegetables (supplied by Organics to You) with local choice grains. $5.00”
Portland…..ya gotta love it. (With each new day, I love it even more…)
Last week was tough, both personally and academically. The personal issues revolve around a close relative who is ill. It is hard to deal with other things in one’s life when someone you know and love dearly is physically suffering. A close friend is sharing a similar issue. In many respects, we are holding one another up, but I also have my family, including my wholly supportive husband, for whom I am ever grateful.
Thankfully, toward the end of the week, things began to turn around for me in surprising ways, and in terms of school, yesterday, I completed the last of my assignments for the week and was able to actually take a nap for the first time in months and months. I. was. exhausted! I also went to bed early last night and awoke this morning, ready to tackle the world, feeling stronger and more joyful than I have felt in ages, very thankful for my supportive family and friends, all of us being more keenly aware of things that none of us had fully realized before….and I apologize for sounding like one of those Facebook people that write cryptic messages that beg for more explanation. I simply refuse to make it public.
This week’s mountain of school work looks equally as challenging as last. However, as I chisel my way through each obstacle, one rock at a time, I find myself gaining more and more inner strength and determination. More than ever, I am beginning to realize that this education is not only imparting new information and skills. It is also changing my brain as I go through the process. The process itself, in fact, is the most beneficial aspect.
I am learning an economy of order that I have never experienced before. I find it easier to sort through information and to hone in on exactly what I need, not just in school, but in my personal life as well. My focus is sharper. I am gaining self confidence in all areas of life as I face difficulties that just aren’t that difficult any longer. My problem solving skills are better. I am becoming amazingly organized. I am thinking more clearly, putting up with less B.S. I am moving forward with inner strength summoned up from a Source that makes me feel strong and mighty.
I just read over my assignments. I have to write an 8 page review of empirical literature about Individualism and Collectivism theories. I have to learn about Type I. and Type II. errors in research design using inferential statistics and I have to analyze a second set of data using a software with which I am not yet familiar. This time 6 months ago, I would have looked at these assignments and probably cried. Today, I’m thinking, “I’ve got this. I can do this.” because I know I can. I do not yet have any knowledge of how to tackle these assignments, but I am confident that I now possess the problem solving skills that will allow me to arrive at the solutions. By this time next week, I will have completed every assignment, and I will know more than I know right now. This much I do know.
So….off I go….but first, it is time for a walk with my puppy, and a hot cup of coffee, and a smile as I feel gratitude for every day that I can walk this earth, love and be loved in return. I am a lucky woman.