I want to be a centenarian. I want to be one of those little old ladies who gets her picture in the paper sitting beside the huge birthday cake topped with hazardous amounts of candles. Working towards this goal means paying attention to health news and constantly looking for ways to improve my lifestyle.
During a road trip with my family to the rocky mountains, I read an article from the latest issue of Neurology Now regarding meditation. I was surprised to learn that meditation has been scientifically proven to improve not only mental but also physical health. It has even shown to increase the density of grey and white matter in the brain and thereby reduce risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is something I should do…Is there a class at the YMCA? Turns out, meditation is much simpler than I’d thought. To meditate, simply focus on the present moment and nothing else. Clear all thoughts from your head. Think only about your breathing. Do this for a few minutes a day, and your overall health and well-being will improve. Pretty crazy, eh?
The rocky mountains are a great place to meditate. It was easy to focus on the present. Why would I want to think of anything else? I was on vacation! With beautiful scenery surrounding me, I embraced each moment and allowed no thoughts of the past or worries of the future to infiltrate my conscious. This attitude made my trip seem to last longer than a week. By simply acknowledging each moment and treating it as a gift, I seemed to extend that moment in time and space.
Unfortunately, upon returning home I was faced with the stress of everyday life. It’s hard to meditate when there’s so many thoughts racing through my mind. Apparently, this is hurting my centenarian ambitions. The absence of these constant racing thoughts, or “self-talk”, during meditation allows the brain to recharge and revamp. When you’re stressed out especially, these constant thoughts wear your brain down.
I highly advise meditation to any other centenarian wannabes. I’ve also read lots of good things about yoga as a means of improving mental and physical well-being. Adding green tea to your daily routine is another easy way to protect your brain from dementia and your body from disease. Simply revising your daily or weekly routine to include meditation, yoga, and green tea could potentially add years to your life.