Ability to “Be Here Now” May Fade With Age
Think about this: the body ages, telomeres shorten, the mind wanders. The body ages, telomeres shorten, the mind wanders. The body ages, telomeres shorten, the mind wanders. Good. Researchers at UC San Francisco have been thinking about that too, and they recently looked for connections between telomere length and the tendency of a mind to wander in 239 women between the ages of 50 and 65. A UCSF news release reports that the researchers found something interesting: those who reported more mind wandering had shorter telomeres, while those who reported more presence in the moment, or having a greater focus and engagement with their current activities, had longer telomeres. Now they have to figure out if the mind wandering leads to shorter telomeres, whether the reverse is true, or if some common third factor is contributing to both. Here’s a clue: The researchers note that mindful meditation has been shown to increase activity of the enzyme known as telomerase, which is responsible for protecting and in some cases, replenishing telomeres. Read more from USFC.