The benefits of meditation are well-known and seemingly endless.
It helps us keep calm and more focused, reduces blood pressure, and promotes more energy as well as better sleep. However, what is lesser known-but no less important- is the science behind how meditation can actually help reverse the adverse effects of age on your skin. In fact, meditation helps your skin look younger.
What does meditation have to do with it?
Meditation reduces the release of cortisol
When you meditate (even for a few minutes a day), you’re allowing your mind and body to enter a more relaxed state, which releases chemicals that counter the “stress” hormone cortisol. Add some deep meditative breathing and you’ll oxygenate your cells and promote toxin elimination. Big plus!
Cortisol, known as the “fight or flight” hormone, triggers blood away from the skin towards other muscles and organs in the body. Not only is our skin deprived of oxygen and nutrients, but our muscles tense, our skin loses that rosy glow, and fine lines and wrinkles begin to form. (We know those wrinkles as worry lines.)
Meditation boosts melatonin
In recent years, getting enough sleep has been a hot topic and with good reason. Statistics show that 90% of adults in the U.S. use a technological device during the hour before bed. Unfortunately, the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices can interfere with your body’s internal clock and suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Melatonin is also known to strengthen the immune system and slow down the aging process. Your skin makes new collagen when you sleep, which improves texture and prevents sagging- a huge benefit for your appearance. The key is to get enough shut-eye, meaning seven to nine quality hours each night. So put down those devices!
That’s not to say meditation alone is the key to counteracting aging, but it’s an important part of a regimen for healthy skin which includes a balanced diet, proper sleep, and quality skin care products.
Meditation is easy to start, and you don’t need any specialized technique. Just follow these simple steps:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Turn off phones, televisions, etc. so you won’t be interrupted.
- Set a timer for 3-15 minutes- whatever your schedule allows.
- Become aware of your breathing, feel your belly rise and fall. Pay attention to each breath.
- Notice your thoughts as they come and go. If you find your mind getting carried away in your thoughts, observe those thoughts, without judging, and return to your breath.
- When your timer goes off, slowly allow yourself to come back to the present. I promise you will feel more relaxed and refreshed.
For a guided meditation, try my Relax Anytime, Anywhere meditation.