Ellen Langer’s Counterclockwise book and study have been making the news recently. She is a Harvard psychology professor and an highly acclaimed award winning social scientist. She’s famous for a lot of things, however the counterclockwise study is really interesting because it shows we can reverse aging with our minds.
According to http://greatergood.berkeley.edu, Langer draws on her 30 years of pioneering mind-body research, including her 1979 “Counterclockwise” study in which eight elderly men lived in a residential retreat that recreated the social-physical environment of 1959. After one week sequestered in this virtual 20-year journey back in time, all eight participants showed marked improvements in their hearing, memory, dexterity, appetite, and general well-being. They even looked younger to outside observers who saw photos of them before and after the experiment.
Here’s youtube clip you may like:
“Notice new things,” she says and you will become engaged and enjoy many benefits in health and happiness.
If you like these ideas, you’ll like this ebook:
It’s official, your stressful job is aging you prematurely. Evidence shows that those in stressful jobs are exhibiting shortened telomeres.
You can read about it here:Job Stress Linked With Shorter Telomeres, Which Could Speed Up Aging
Shortened telomeres are linked with aging and disease.
One way to counteract stress and shortened telomeres? Meditation!
You can find the below study here.
Understanding the malleable determinants of cellular aging is critical to understanding human longevity. Telomeres may provide a pathway for exploring this question. Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. The length of telomeres offers insight into mitotic cell and possibly organismal longevity. Telomere length has now been linked to chronic stress exposure and depression. This raises the question of mechanism: How might cellular aging be modulated by psychological functioning? We consider two psychological processes or states that are in opposition to one another-threat cognition and mindfulness-and their effects on cellular aging. Psychological stress cognitions, particularly appraisals of threat and ruminative thoughts, can lead to prolonged states of reactivity. In contrast, mindfulness meditation techniques appear to shift cognitive appraisals from threat to challenge, decrease ruminative thought, and reduce stress arousal. Mindfulness may also directly increase positive arousal states. We review data linking telomere length to cognitive stress and stress arousal and present new data linking cognitive appraisal to telomere length. Given the pattern of associations revealed so far, we propose that some forms of meditation may have salutary effects on telomere length by reducing cognitive stress and stress arousal and increasing positive states of mind and hormonal factors that may promote telomere maintenance. Aspects of this model are currently being tested in ongoing trials of mindfulness meditation.
Many people have never heard of Patanjali, an indian sage who is credited with authoring the yoga sutras. The yoga sutras are a string of pithy statements that were committed to memory by aspirants and basically outlined the entire path to enlightenment step by step in a methodical way. Many call it the ‘science of yoga’.
Patanjali’s aphorisms are divided into 4 sections. The third section describes many powers that one develops along the path to enlightenment. In the Vibhuti Pada, Patanjali describes exactly how to acquire the strength of an elephant using your concentration. You can basically know or become anything by applying direct concentration in a specific way.
Patanjali was describing “the secret” many many centuries ago!
There are many scientific studies that show meditation increases circulating levels of the youth hormone DHEAS and lowers the stress hormone Cortisol.
I found one study on pub med that showed this effect and indicated it was independent of diet and exercise habits. You can find the study here.
Too much Cortisol ages your physical body and DHEAS keeps you young. Take time to meditate or visualize your intentions.