Meditation and Mindfulness

Turn an ancient practice into a modern-day miracle with Fit4100’s practical advice on the anti-aging power of meditation and mindfulness. Learn how to simply and effectively use evidence-backed methods in your daily life, so you can live better for longer.  

The practices of meditation and mindfulness reach back past recorded history. Somehow – through this ancient wisdom – we have been gifted an incomparable cure for many of modern society’s most wickedly complex, life-shortening afflictions.

Meditation, mindfulness, and the science of longevity

Once seen as the preserve of religions, in the last two decades meditation and mindfulness have become widely-acknowledged as potent health interventions that have the power to transform all lives to be longer, healthier, and happier.  

The research on the wide efficacy of meditation and mindfulness is conclusive.

Used routinely, meditation has been proven to have a profound effect on a range of health conditions that can significantly reduce lifespan, including anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and stress-related conditions like stroke, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

The benefits of meditation and mindfulness go beyond the concrete and scientific. It is known to be good for you, but it also makes you feel good. And it is this change that makes the difference between a life that is long and one that is also well-lived.

“We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way we experience it. That’s the potential of meditation, of mindfulness,” says Andy Puddicombe, a mindfulness expert, in his TED talk – All it Takes is Ten Mindful Minutes.

This is why meditation and mindfulness sit at the apex of the Fit4100 approach to living longer and better.

These are strategies for living life as it happens and being less reactive – tools not only to prolong life, but also to bring more joy and meaning to it. With these simple methods you can rebalance your thinking. They ensure that moments of importance, love, and happiness are given as much mental significance as moments of difficulty.

How to make meditation and mindfulness part of your daily routine

Introducing meditation and mindfulness into your life doesn’t necessarily mean consciously changing existing routines. Instead, it is about adding something new.

Start by committing ten minutes every day to learning the new practice of mindfulness. We recommend following this helpful guide or using an established guided meditation platform like Headspace.

Once you have begun this routine, allow the lessons and the clarity of those ten minutes to influence your thinking and behaviour during the rest of the day. As psychologist Amishi Jha says, “Mindfulness is not just a concept, it’s more like practice”. In each ten-minute session, you are developing a toolkit to deal with the day’s events – the more often you employ your toolkit, the more helpful it will become.

Making this ten-minute daily investment of time and energy can be challenging. Across the Fit4100 platform, we encourage you to use our practical advice in tandem with your own personal motivation.

Change is only sustainable if you are passionate about making it. Before you commit to meditation, first commit to yourself. This is an investment in your future and only you can know just much potential your life holds.

The best ways to slow aging using meditation and mindfulness

One of the most wondrous things about mindfulness and meditation is they allow us to influence important things about ourselves that used to feel beyond our control.

Taking the step of including a basic mindful practice in your daily routine has its own anti-aging benefits. But once you are confident, you can also begin to use these skills to make changes you never thought possible that can more specifically help extend and enrich your life.

These are three of the most effective ways to use meditation and mindfulness as tools for a happier, longer life.

#1 – Meditation and mindfulness for better sleep

Sleep scientist Matt Walker calls sleep a “superpower”. Not getting enough sleep increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart attack. But if you find it difficult to sleep, it can feel impossible to do anything about it.

Meditation is proven to combat insomnia. As well as slowing the mind, meditation can help shut down the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for keeping the body active. It also lowers the heart rate and slows breathing, creating the conditions for restful sleep.

#2 – Meditation and mindfulness for mental wellbeing

Anxiety disorders are strongly linked with reduced lifespan but are often overwhelming – inducing the feeling that your thoughts and life have spun out of control.

Mindfulness techniques are regularly prescribed and have proven effective in reducing anxiety. Recent research indicates this may be because meditation can help the brain switch from disordered though to theta brainwaves – a relaxed but still attentive state.

#3 – Meditation and mindfulness for self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is a description of your confidence in your own abilities. Without self-efficacy, many people feel unable to take the steps necessary to achieve their goals, leaving them stuck in a life of frustration and unfulfilled potential.

Meditation improves self-efficacy by creating awareness around unhelpful self-talk and building your capacity for positive self-instruction.

These are a few introductory ideas. The Fit4100 archive will continue to bring you regular updates on what new research is telling us about mindfulness and meditation, and practical guidance on how to turn that into steps toward living longer and better.

How to live to 100 years old using meditation and mindfulness: Three easy steps you can take today.

1) Recognise why you want to live better and longer.

2) Commit to putting ten minutes aside each day to practice meditation and mindfulness.

3) Start today. Pick what suits you best from our suggestions:

 A) Use this beginner’s guide to mindfulness to complete your first session.

B) Use your first meditation session to focus specifically on a current concern. You could try Headspace’s guided meditation for sleep, or their meditation for anxiety.