LIFESTYLE

Before And After Photos Of Meditation Reveal How Much Younger And Happier It Makes You

15/05/2014 08:38 BST | Updated 15/05/2014 08:59 BST

Meditation, we are told, makes you happier, more peaceful and can help you sleep better. If that sounds too intangible for some, there are also the incontrovertible health benefits: it helps protect against heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Part of being more relaxed and able to cope with the stresses of daily life must, logically, have an impact on how tired you look, and how quickly you age.

But where's the proof, we hear you ask. Thanks to our friends in HuffPost Canada, we've seen what meditation can physically do to the body, after Living editor Rebecca Zamon interviewed Peter G. Seidler, a life and executive coach currently based in Thailand.

benefits of meditation

Seidler took a series of photographs in 2011 during a 30-day meditation retreat in Colorado, and the collection is now part of a project called Contemplatives.

Talking about his observations, he said to HuffPost Canada: "There are various aspirations people have for their meditation practice. For one person it might be to reduce stress and better sleep. For someone else it might be to be of greater benefit to other people. For another the aspiration might be enlightenment ... Clearly, people come to meditation for many different reasons."

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There are lots of myths surrounding meditation - what it involves and what it doesn't allow you to do. HuffPost UK blogger Sandi Wassmer wrote a concise piece addressing these.

In it, she writes: "Meditation is not escapism. It isn't an altered state of mind where your problems don't exist. Quite the opposite. In meditation you give your problems space and find the most wise and compassionate ways to handle them."

Stella Photi, writing about the anti-ageing benefits of meditation on the site, quoted a woman writing on the London Meditation Centre site as saying: "My meditation is such a rock to me. I can't imagine life without it. Plus I've been told a lot recently how much younger I'm looking and have I had Botox!? 'No', I reply, 'I've discovered eyelash curlers and practice regular meditation'.... I feel so much calmer, more grounded and at ease."

Take a look at the evidence in Seidler's before and after meditation pictures:

Meditation Before And After