OK! Aside from the obvious – it keeps us alive – breathing actually has some hidden medical benefits that few people know about. I spoke at an event at the weekend called Tapping Into the Source of Wellbeing, organised by my friend Gosia Gorna.
A recent 2-year study at the University of Michigan followed 6,044 people who were over the age of 50. At the beginning of the study they had to rate their optimism level on a 16-point scale. They found that for each extra 1 point of optimism on the scale, the risk of a stroke dropped by 9%. Three points and that’s nearly a 30% lower risk. Incredible!
1) Meditate to calm your mind and stay young. Meditation helps calm the mind and reduce stress. Regular practice helps us meet many of the routinely challenging situations in our lives with less effort, and we achieve better results. Few people realize that meditation also slows the aging process. One study associated meditation with higher levels of the ‘anti-aging hormone’, DHEA, implying that meditation slowed aging. A Harvard study showed that it even impacts us at the genetic level, affecting around 2,000 genes, some of which counteracted damage to the body from free radicals, thus potentially slowing the rate of aging
1. Be the Change. Yes, we’ve heard Gandhi’s immortalized words so many times before, but that’s because they are so true that people keep repeating it. It means to live by the principles that you want to see in others or in the world.
When we think of side effects the first thing that springs to mind are the side effects of drugs. But who’d have thought that kindness could have side effects too? Well, it does! And positive ones at that.
Many people have reported that they can supposedly see psychic auras around others, like a coloured hue that surrounds the person. This kind of anecdotal report has largely been dismissed by the scientific community, but new evidence suggests that this ability may actually be a form of synaesthesia.
Have you heard of the 21-day Complaint-Free Challenge? This is where you try to last a full 21 days without making a single complaint, criticism, or unfair judgement about someone or something. You keep track of your progress by switching a purple complaint-free band from one wrist to the other each time you complain.
I recently told a few friends about the exciting new scientific research that shows just how contagious smiling can be. They decided to test it out by just randomly smiling at people. One of my friends told me about her shopping trip to ASDA and how, after a few curious looks, some people smiled back. It even led to a conversation with an elderly gentlemen and also a pleasant exchange at the till point.
Scientists from Stanford University, publishing in the journal, ‘Emotion’ , showed that meditation that focused on loving kindness increased people’s feelings of social connectedness. The Tibetan Buddhist ‘Loving-Kindness’ meditation invites practitioners to cultivate a sense of loving kindness, wellness, peace, happiness, and compassion for ourselves, our loved ones, neutral people, and even aggressors in our lives.
The US National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) involving 281,460 men and women over 45 years of age it found that marriage was associated with a much lower risk of mortality than being single. Similarly, the British Regional Heart Study of 1995, that involved 7,735 men aged 40-59, found that being single was associated with a higher risk of mortality. However, it is not marriage itself that offers the health benefits. It is the quality of relationship within the marriage that counts. A happy marriage translates to a happy heart.