Scientific health benefits of meditation and mindfulness explained
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After tying the knot for the third time, Richard Gere beamed he was the “happiest man in the universe” to Hello! magazine in 2018. Fast forward nearly four years, and him and Alejandra Silva, 39, are still in a love bubble. Aside from a happy marriage and healthy children, what else gives him his zest for life? “None of us are getting out of here alive,” he told Extra, an American news outlet.
“Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure.”
Richard added: “Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”
It’s clear that the Pretty Woman actor holds the attitude to make the most out of life.
Something that could have been influenced by what he saw around him.
“My friend’s mum has eaten healthy all her life,” he said. “Never, ever, consumed alcohol or any ‘bad’ food.
“Exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor.
“Never went in the sun without sunscreen and, when she did, it was for as short a period as possible…
“She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis.”
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At the same time, another close family friend’s father would eat “bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter… never exercised” and has been told by medical staff that “his health is that of a young person”.
Richard said: “People, you cannot hide from your poison. It’s out there and it will find you.”
So, instead of waiting for death to come get you, which it inevitably will, it’s time to enjoy life to the fullest.
It’s not only Richard’s perspective on life, and his lucky genetics, that has led him to lead a full life in his 70s.
Back in 1996, Richard revealed to USA Today that he would spend an hour each day meditating.
Whether he still practises meditation or not is not known, but there has been some good evidence to suggest that meditation can improve your health.
Leading mediation app Headspace noted that meditation is an effective stress-busting tool.
“To appreciate the profound physical benefits of meditation, it’s important to understand how chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body,” Headspace noted.
Stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, releasing the hormones epinephrine and cortisol in the bloodstream.
Too much epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Too much cortisol has been associated with increased blood sugar levels, a suppressed immune system, and constricted blood vessels.
Chronic stress can lead to an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels.
Thus, by meditating and reducing stress levels, you are improving your chances of a long and healthy life.
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