Heart disease is one of the leading killers of North Americans. With the combination of the Standard American Diet and a low priority for exercise, it isn’t any surprise that heart disease is easily one of the most dangerous things North Americans must worry about. In addition, the stresses of daily life are constantly plaguing the population. Everybody wants, and needs, to succeed. And the stress associated with such important tasks can cause blood pressure to rise. Sometimes stress can cause other issues associated with heart disease as well, such as stress-eating unhealthy foods that contribute to poor health.
Ultimately, however, meditation is a great way to help keep that type of stress in check. Rather than allowing the negative cycles to persist, meditation can provide a way for us to unplug from the world around us and refocus our minds on things that are not as overwhelming. When we engage in stress-relieving activities, our brains respond very physically. Chemicals such as nitric oxide are released, and it is found to be helpful in reducing blood pressure.
In fact, one study even found that people who managed to keep a regular meditation schedule were able to lower the dosage of the blood pressure medications that they had been using to keep their health in check. That isn’t to say that if you start to meditate, you should immediately cut down on the doses of whatever medicine you are taking. However, you can keep in touch with your doctor about your new lifestyle change and see if there is an option later down the line.
Reducing stress is a huge key in reducing blood pressure. When we find ourselves getting stressed out, our bodies react. Our hearts beat more quickly, we get flushed, and we generally suffer from tightness in the chest or other limbs. Stress is known as the silent killer for a reason.
But meditation is a cure. While it may not always reduce the stressful situations you experience in your life, it does provide us with a great coping mechanism that allows us to build up our resistance to stress and process negative events in a healthy way rather than letting them bring us down. No matter what style of meditation you choose to utilize, it has a high chance of reducing your blood pressure. Whether you are simply focusing on your breathing, practicing mindfulness, or listening to guided meditations, taking the time away from your hectic life to focus inward is a great asset.
While we can’t completely cure the world of heart disease, we can at least take steps in preventing it from affecting us as badly as it could. In lowering our risk of heart disease by practicing meditation and lowering stress, we are ensuring ourselves, and those we care about, that we are capable of handling whatever life throws at us in a healthy way. In learning more about meditation, you may literally save your life!