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This story was originally published on Psychology Today.

New research published in Psychoneuroendocrinology has found that practicing loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on compassion, could slow down biological aging. 

Biological aging can be measured by looking at the length of a section of DNA called telomeres. Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes that act like the plastic ends of shoelaces to prevent the unraveling and deterioration of the chromosome. As we age, telomere length shortens. 

Researchers measured telomere length in 142 adults two weeks before and three weeks after people participated in the meditation for six weeks. Meditation workshops were held weekly and were hour-long group meditation sessions. Participants also were given a 20-minute, audio-recorded, guided meditation for daily practice at home as well. 

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