You know how stress can make you feel 10 years older? That’s because your body thinks you are, according to Nobel-prize-winning scientist, Elizabeth Blackburn. It’s all down to our telomeres: the molecules that help protect our chromosomes, but which shorten every time a cell divides. In Blackburn’s study of 58 women, she found that the most frazzled ladies had telomeres that translated into a decade of ageing compared to those who were least stressed. But meditation can both stop and turn back the clock: in her study of people on a three-month meditation retreat, participants had 30 per cent higher levels of telomerase (the enzyme that helps lengthen our telomeres) than a similar group on a waiting list. That’s a seriously good reason to get your Om on!
Meditate to stay young
You know how stress can make you feel 10 years older? That’s because your body thinks you are