By Maia Szalavitz May 03, 2013
While it might seem that your body and brain aren’t doing much when you’re on break, relaxing triggers a flurry of genetic activity that is responsible for some important health benefits.
When you really relax — using any type of meditative technique such as deep breathing, yoga or prayer — the genes in your body switch to a different mode. Genes that counteract the chemical effects of stress kick in, while those responsible for driving more anxious and alert states take a backseat. And a new study shows that long-term practice of relaxation techniques can significantly enhance these genetic benefits.