Very interesting snippet about telomeres on Today FM yesterday, but just as interesting (or even more so) was the conversation about Madame Jeanne Calment, the worlds oldest person. Mme Calment is now deceased but not until after she had reached her 122nd birthday! In her later years she took to ascribing her longevity to all manner of outlandish things, however, many believe that it was her constitutional inability to suffer from stress that gave her such a long AND happy life
However, to say this is constitutional is debateable to say the least. Mme Calment was know for saying that if you can't do something about a problem, then why worry about it? If a positive thought like this becomes a habit, a cognitive shift happens in the psyche which research into cognitive behavioural psychology shows will have an effect on emotions, on behaviour and ultimately on the body, immune system and so on. Yoga, hypnosis, CBT and all mind-body therapies have this effect. If Mme literally made a habit of repeating this thought when confronted by problems then the effects of stress would be ever more easily short-circuited as her body adapted itself to this effective way of thinking. This is the effect of yoga mantra, a hypnotic suggestion, an NLP reframe etc. In the truest sense of the word Mme Calment was practicing the essence of yoga which is, as described in the Aphorisms of Patanjali as 'control of the mind-stuff'.
Mme Calment smoked, drank a glass of port wine every day and ate a kilo of chocolate a week. Here's to long life, happiness and to the remarkable Mme Jeanne Calment!
Liam Byrne, Yoga & Pilates Instructor, Acupuncturist, Physical Therapist, Sports Massage Therapist,