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Regular meditation could keep your brain young

Photo: Jordan Sanchez/Stocksnap
Photo: Jordan Sanchez/Stocksnap

Did you do your Monday morning meditation today? If not, stop, drop, and get mindful for a minute, because a new study says doing so daily could actually add years to your life. (As if you needed another reason: It’s already known as a beauty treatment, a stress reliever, and a painkiller).

Over a period of 20 years, researchers observed 50 men and women who practiced meditation regularly, and 50 who didn’t—analyzing their brain scans to determine the age of each brain based on its physical condition. And while the non-meditators’ ages matched the ages of their brains, those who meditated appeared to have brains seven and a half years younger than their actual ages.

“These findings seem to suggest that meditation is beneficial for brain preservation, with a slower rate of brain aging throughout life,” researcher Christian Gaser of Jena University Hospital in Germany told The Daily Mail. Aging is naturally accompanied by a loss of brain substance, but a regular meditation practice—with its powerhouse combination of intense concentration and relaxation—could prompt the growth of new brain cells, effectively slowing the rate of brain aging.

Is meditation the latest “edit-undo” when it comes to aging? We’re willing to give it a shot—and a lot of deep breaths.

This study is right in line with what our Wellness Council medical expert, Dr. Frank Lipman, has been saying: That aging is not as inevitable as we think it is—especially if you take it easy with sugar and artificial sweeteners.