Meditation, stress processes, and telomere biology

Curr Opin Psychol. 2019 Aug;28:92-101. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.11.009. Epub 2018 Nov 19.


Both theoretical and empirical work support the notion that meditation training can improve telomere regulation, which may ultimately contribute to healthy aging. Yet, the psychological and biological mechanisms underlying these changes remain underspecified, as do the contexts and boundary conditions in which these changes occur. Here we summarize studies investigating the effects of various meditation-based interventions on telomere biology, making suggestions for future research. We then propose a model describing how meditation training may impact acute and habitual stress responses as pathways to improved cell aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Meditation*
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Telomere / metabolism*