A strong study on ageing and meditation was conducted by researchers at Harvard. Alexander et al. analysed elderly people who were introduced to meditation. In short they showed numerous beneficial changes and ultimately lived longer on average than patients in the control group that did not practice meditation. The positive results were noted to endure when a follow-up study was conducted more than 10 years later.
Dr. Eva Selhub, Medical Director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute, says, “If we can affect the stress response, we can affect the aging process.” She says “There’s a reason why experienced meditators live so long and look so young.”
In an interview with CNN, Dan Buettner, author of “The Blue Zones” and researcher into longevity around the world, suggests small lifestyle changes can add up to 10 years to most people’s lives. He says aging is 10% genetic and 90% lifestyle. Buettner stated that having mechanisms to shed stress, like prayer and meditation, was of high importance in the longevity hotspots he studied and a major factor in long-term health and ageing.
Reference: Alexander et al., 1989, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology