There’s strong clinical evidence that meditation can effectively treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even drug addiction.
Now, a new study shows that it can help people restore memory loss caused by aging.
The research was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists looked at subjects between 55 and 90 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It’s often the first step toward Alzheimer’s.
The researchers divided the subjects into two groups. One took an eight-week course on mindfulness meditation and yoga. The other joined a waiting list for the course.
The meditation group had improved cognition. Their memory was stronger. They were mentally quicker. And their hippocampus functioned better. It’s the brain area linked to memory and learning. The control group had no improvements.
The researchers were concerned that people with MCI might have trouble learning meditation. That turned out not to be the case.
The study was led by Dr. Rebecca Erwin Wells. She noted that there is currently no known way to stop MCI from progressing to Alzheimer’s. But meditation may offer the potential to do so.
Mindfulness Meditation: A Step-by-Step Guide
Mindfulness meditation is simple: You sit comfortably in any quiet place, focus on your breathing, and when your attention wanders, return.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Find a seat. Sit on a chair, a park bench, a carpeted floor—anywhere that is comfortable. You want a stable, solid seat…not a porch swing or rocking chair.
Position your legs. Many people like to cross their legs, but that’s not necessary. Sit so that you can relax.
Sit up. Straighten your upper body, but don’t be stiff. Your back has a natural curve. Let it be there.
Drop your hands. Let your hands rest naturally on your legs.
Look ahead. You can close your eyes or gaze forward without focusing on anything in particular.
Feel your breath. Pay attention to the physical act of breathing. Notice your chest and belly rise and fall. Mentally note breathing in and breathing out.
When your mind wanders… Don’t worry about it. That’s normal. Just go back to paying attention to your breathing.
Stop. Open your eyes if they were closed. Notice how your body feels. Pause for a moment to consider how you’d like to continue on with your day.
As little as five minutes a day is beneficial. But longer sessions—up to a half hour—or two or three sessions a day, work well for many people.
Mindfulness meditation is easy to do and will help keep your mind and memory sharp. Rarely do you get such impressive benefits from such a small investment of time and effort.
Editor’s Note: If you’re tempted to join the growing number of people who are going vegetarian, there’s something you should know… Giving up meat can trigger cognitive impairment and mental illness.
To learn more, read the latest issue of Independent Healing, your best source for unbiased, science-based health advice. Go HERE to find out more.
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