Meditation Is Magical for Heart Health

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Life is busy, stressful, and getting more hectic every day. Don’t let the tick of time affect your ticker negatively. Magic your heart to good health with meditation!

Taking a few minutes to relax each day could help you exponentially lower your risk of heart disease. Daily meditation is a practice that often uses deep breathing, quiet contemplation, or sustained focus on something benign such as a color, phrase, or repetitive sound (known as a mantra) that helps you let go of stress, free yourself of anxiety, feel peaceful, and maintain a relaxed, clear state of mind. Think of it as a daily vacation from the stress in your life.

Stress is your body’s natural alarm system. It releases a powerful hormone called adrenaline that causes your breathing and heart rate to quicken and your blood pressure to rise. However, this primal “fight or flight” response and heavy adrenaline cascade flowing through your veins can take a massive toll on your body if it’s consistently repeated over time. It is unhealthy to live as if there’s always a threat waiting around the next corner to annihilate you.

Instead of dealing with real predators as our ancestors did, many of the monsters that cause us stress now are the ones created in our minds. What I’m saying is a bit esoteric, but follow me on this: there are few stressful events— it’s usually our thoughts, fears, and judgments about those events that create acute stress responses in our bodies. To feel stressed-out about something is often a choice based on our interpretation, judgment, and reaction to it. The proverbial saber-toothed tiger chasing us down in the wild has been replaced by money worries, family dramas, work stresses, and a multitude of other modern psychological maladies. The problem is that your body can’t tell the difference between a real physical threat and an image in your mind, so it continues to release the same stress hormones in response.

For people with cardiovascular disease, meditation provides a pathway to reduce their stress and focus on things they can do to be healthier. Meditation is a way to bring balance to your life. It can also help you to sleep better, which is a very important restorative part of physical health and heart vitality.

Recent studies have offered promising results regarding the impact of meditation in reducing blood pressure. A 2012 study showed adults with heart disease who practiced Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke or to die compared with adults who attended a health education class more than five years earlier.

There are countless types of meditation, so it’s important to find an approach that you feel comfortable with. Try local yoga classes with gentle movements. Yoga not your thing? Check out a meditation workshop, pick up a few books about mindfulness, or download a meditation online (there are tons of free apps and videos online). I also recommend asking a family member or friend to do it with you, so you can share the learning experience with someone.

Not all meditation is done sitting down with your legs crossed as many people believe. In addition to yoga, there’s tai chi, also called “moving meditation,” which incorporates gentle movements that require deep concentration and balance.

While meditation can offer a technique for lowering stress and your risk for heart disease, it’s not a replacement for other important lifestyle changes like eating a clean diet, lowering your sodium and sugar intake, or getting daily physical exercise.

Your heart is an important part of you. Meditation can keep your physical heart healthy, but it can also keep your metaphorical heart of emotions healthy. Meditate your heart back to health!

Get healthy with our free fitness challenge where we give you a free meal plan and a free exercise regimen to follow so you can feel your best!

Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Sunwarrior’s awesome expert writers do not replace doctors and don’t always cite studies, so do your research, as is wise. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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