Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wandering Mind- Aging Cells?

You already knew that practices that encourage mindfulness and being present in the moment were good for your spirit. Now a biological marker is being studied, linking mind- wandering with aging. The University of California, San Francisco study defined being present in the moment as an "inclination to be focused on current tasks" and mind wandering was defined as "the inclination to have thoughts about things other than the present or being present elsewhere."

Interventions which support mindfulness, compassion, and acceptance are associated with increased activity for an enzyme called telomerase, which protects and replenishes telomeres. Telomere length is an emerging measure for cellular and general bodily aging. 

Dr. Epel
The lead author, Elissa Epel, Ph.D. concludes : "Our attentional state- where our thoughts rest at any moment- turns out to be a fascinating window into our well-being... In our healthy sample, people who report being more engaged in their current activities tend to have longer telomeres."

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