Finding ways to manage stress isn’t just essential for our mental and emotional health. According to researchers, there’s a strong link between coping with stress and warding off Alzheimer’s disease — and one simple meditation can make a huge difference.
A new review in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease claims that a practice known as Kirtan Kriya meditation can help reduce stress while also stimulating blood flow to areas of our brain that maintain our cognitive ability and emotions. It shows promising signs of slowing brain aging by increasing grey matter, too.
Study author Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, explains, “The key point of this review is that making a commitment to a brain longevity lifestyle, including spiritual fitness, is a critically important way for aging Alzheimer’s disease free.”
Kirtan Kriya meditation involves singing four sounds — saa, taa, naa, maa — and using repetitive finger movements for about 12 minutes. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation claims these particular sounds come from a yoga mantra known as “Sat Nam,” which means “my true essence.” The organization also recommends partaking in the practice on a daily basis to reduce stress and boost brain health.
Here’s an easy example you can follow along with:
Along with minimizing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, adding this meditation to your daily routine might help you feel younger and live longer. Another recent study found that older individuals who cited having less stress in their lives also had younger “subjective ages” — or the age they feel rather than their chronological age. The researchers believe that finding ways to manage stress helped them develop a buffer that kept their health from declining.
Of course, everyone is different and you might find other stress remedies that work better for you — like surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or taking certain supplements. Whatever helps keep you and your mind at ease is all that matters!