Caregivers are discovering that daily meditation can be extremely helpful in lowering depression, improving cognitive functioning, and even reducing cellular again caused by stress. In a study by UCLA and reported in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, meditation did a better job of lowering depression than relaxation music CDs.
The results were surprising: One group learned meditation techniques, while a second listened to music in a quiet place. 65% of the meditation group showed a 50% improvement on the depression scale versus 31% for the CD group. 52% of the meditation group showed a 50% improvement in mental health and cognitive functioning (compared to 19% of the CD group).
The real surprise was that meditation slowed cellular aging. An enzyme called telomerase is associated with health risks and diseases that can be regulated by stress. By reducing telomerase activity, cells divide and the telomeres die. The group practicing meditation saw and 43% improvement, while the relaxation group scored on a 3.7% improvement.