MINDFULNESS

How Regular Meditation Slows Down the Normal Aging Process

How to maintain your glow longer than it is meant to stay.

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

I started daily meditation to improve my focus for deep work because my distraction tolerance is laughable.

Here’s a live estimate of my tolerance: every time I grab my phone for a legit reason, I forget the motive and end up on Instagram first, even when I have to make an urgent call.

Meditation and aging

Apart from helping you regain focus, little did I know there are other benefits of meditation that would motivate me to show up every day.

One such benefit is slow ageing. I learned it recently in my guided meditation plan on the Balance app and was curious to know more about it.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could maintain the glow you have in your 20s?

After breaking my daily meditation habit last year, I restarted it one month ago.

Screenshot of Balance app on Author’s phone.

Today is day 36 of my 100 days streak. Here is the ageing benefit to help you decide if you should start right now.

Aging and grey matter

Grey matter is the bulk of the central nervous system. It is an integral part of brain cells responsible for critical functions.

Unlike white matter — which is responsible for the signal transfer — grey matter handles signal processing. After age 40, grey matter starts decreasing in volume.

The ageing process is natural, so we can do nothing to stop it. But there are ways we can slow it down.

Exercising is a well-known activity for ageing gracefully. But what if there was a low-intensity activity too? One that takes even less time than a usual workout?

Meditation and grey matter

Regular meditation helps improve the density of grey matter, which helps slow down ageing. Daily meditation induces grey matter plasticity, impacting mental functions, including ageing.

I have made meditation a daily habit by sandwich-ing it between workout and breakfast. It is also a healthy way to cool down from a strenuous exercise to experience the maximum calming effects. It feels like the stress graph is taking a nosedive.

The ageing benefits won’t be evident until I am 40 to compare my health with folks who didn’t incorporate this habit. But, since science backs the long-term benefits, I am continuing it for my well-being.

Final words

The best time was yesterday. The second-best time is today.

If you want to see the benefits of a habit you know is right but requires a change in your schedule to overcome the mental barrier, do it with zero expectations for a specific period.

I meditate after a workout because I want it to creep into my routine with minimal effort. Now that it has, I am looking forward to more benefits as I progress in my mindfulness journey: 10 minutes per day.

Do yourself a favour and spare 10 minutes for your mind. And your lifespan. Your brain will thank you.

If you want to receive more stories like this, my lifelong learning newsletter is for you.

Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, health, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students or writing articles, he’s sweating in a workout, PC gaming or playing 8-ball pool. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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