I’ve talked to you guys in previous posts about meditation. I find that it helps so much to keep me centered, calm, and focused. Studies have also shown that it helps reduce stress and pain, and may even help us avoid diseases like heart disease and cancer.
One thing that you may find hard to believe, though, is that meditation can actually help you look younger. In fact, I mentioned meditation in my birthday post last year (find it here), as my number-one beauty secret.
Now I’ve got more evidence to back up my claim! (ha)
See, I’m not the only one that believes meditation can be a fountain of youth. Here are five ways meditation makes you even more beautiful.
1. It Reduces Rosacea, Acne, and Psoriasis Flare-Ups
Studies repeatedly show that meditation eases stress. Why is that good for our appearance? Because stress triggers skin conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, it actually affects the barrier of skin, reducing its ability to hang onto moisture or to repair itself.
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology reported that meditation sessions helped to ease stress and change negative thought patterns, which significantly reduced symptoms of skin diseases.
A second study found similar results-mindfulness meditation helped speed up the healing of psoriatic lesions.
2. It Keeps the Skin Barrier Healthy
When you’re under stress, the outer layer of skin also becomes stressed. This is the skin’s protector, the part that keeps moisture in and bacteria and other nasty microorganisms out.
Stress, however, compromises this barrier. A study in the January 2001 Archives of Dermatology found that stress had a negative effect on the barrier of skin, resulting in water loss and a reduced ability for the skin to repair itself.
We need a healthy barrier to maintain healthy, smooth skin. Otherwise it gets dry, inflamed, and infected, and no cream or anti-aging serum is going to make it all better. For your healthiest skin, a daily meditation practice is a must.
3. It Slows the Aging Process
You know that your skin is the body’s largest organ, and is affected by everything you do. Whether or not you eat well, exercise, or get enough sleep all shows up in the condition of your skin.
It makes sense, then, that anything that slows your overall rate of aging would do the same for your skin, and meditation does just that. In 2009, for example, researchers reported that meditation-because it reduces stress and increases positive states of mind-could actually help lengthen telomeres, which are protective caps at the end of chromosomes that serve as markers for cellular aging.
Other studies have found similar results. A more recent 2016 study, for example, found that Zen meditation experts had longer telomeres than those who didn’t meditate, and also had a lower percentage of short telomeres.
4. It Naturally Refreshes Your Look & Boosts Confidence
When you meditate, you sit still, breathe deeply, and allow your mind to relax. As you do that, your deep breathing brings more oxygen and nutrients to the skin, which boosts cellular health and rejuvenates the look of skin.
Your deep relaxation also helps relax the features in your face, smoothing out wrinkles and lowering tension-related pain in the forehead, neck, and jaw. When you finish your meditation session, look in the mirror and see if you don’t look more refreshed and relaxed. Isn’t that much more attractive than stressed, tense, and uptight?
Meditation also helps improve your feeling of self-confidence, and we all know that confidence is attractive. A study out of Stanford, for example, reported that after two months of regular mediation, participants were less anxious and thought of themselves more positively.
5. It Encourages You to Make Healthier Choices
You know how when you’re stressed you’re more likely to eat that brownie, or skip your exercise, or even go to bed without washing off your makeup?
Meditation helps increase your awareness of your body and your emotions. It helps you quiet that racing mind so you can make better choices throughout your day. It can also help you reconnect with yourself, so you can slow down and figure out exactly what you need to feel healthier and happier.
Even just 10 minutes of meditation gives you space to breathe and gain some perspective on your day and on your life as a whole. It reduces the release of stress hormones, and helps you tune into your own intuition.
That increases your odds of choosing healthy foods throughout the rest of the day, and of making sure you get that half hour to take a walk after work. All these choices support healthier skin, and a more youthful, radiant you.
To Get Started Today, Try This
You don’t need anything fancy to start meditating. Just follow these simple steps:
- Find a comfortable place to sit down.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Make sure you will not be interrupted (turn off phones, televisions, etc.).
- Set a timer for 10-15 minutes.
- Breathe deeply.
- Focus only on the breath.
- As other thoughts pop into your mind, acknowledge them, and then brush them aside. Bring your thoughts back to the breath.
- If you like, light a candle to focus on, or think about one of your favorite places. When your thoughts take off, gently bring them back to the flame or that beautiful place.
- Continue to bring back your thoughts. Bring them back, bring them back. Focus on your breath, on the flame, on the place.
- When the timer goes off, gradually allow yourself to come back to the world.
There. Don’t you feel more refreshed, relaxed, and renewed? There’s no doubt that more positive sense of self will show up on your face. Don’t be surprised if people notice!
Do you meditate regularly?
SourcesPadraic Flanagan, “Skin disease hope through psychotherapy,” Telegraph, August 26, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9499471/Skin-disease-hope-through-psychotherapy.html.Kabat-Zinn J, et al., “Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA),” Psychosom Med., Sep-Oct 1998; 60(5):625-32, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9773769.American Academy of Dermatology. “Feeling Stressed? How Your Skin, Hair And Nails Can Show It.” ScienceDaily, 9 Nov. 2007. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.Amit Garg, et al., “Psychological Stress Perturbs Epidermal Permeability Barrier Homeostasis,” Observation, January 2001; 137(1):53-59, http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=478156.Elissa Epel, et al., “Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging?” Ann N Y Acad Sci., August 2009; 1172:34-53, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057175/.Marta Alda, et al., “Zen mediation, length of telomeres, and the role of experiential avoidance and compassion,” Mindfulness, June 2016; 7(3):651-659, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-016-0500-5.Casey Lindberg, “More than just relaxing, mediation helps improve self-image of anxiety sufferers,” Standford.edu, June 3, 2009, http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/june3/meditate-060309.html.