Top 5 Benefits of Meditation for Heart Health

Meditation practices can be intimidating for a lot of people. In fact, just stepping foot inside a yoga studio is enough to send some people running for the door.

But, an estimated 1 in 3 American adults dies every year from heart complications, and the simple act of sitting down and focusing for a few moments may help you beat these odds.1

Here the top 5 benefits of meditation for a heart health:

Lower Blood Pressure

Transcendental meditation is a practice that dates back thousands of years to the Vedic traditions of India. Popularized in the 1960’s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental meditation programs have been used for centuries to reduce psychosocial stress – a major contributor to cardiovascular disease.

Numerous studies have confirmed the ability of transcendental meditation to reduce stress levels, thus also lowering blood pressure.2,3

Stress Reducer

Many people experience stressful situations, but if you are dealing with prolonged periods of stress (also known as chronic stress), you aren’t alone. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic stress, potentially putting their health at risk. When stress is excessive, it can directly contribute to heart disease by raising blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.

Numerous clinical studies have shown that mindfulness meditations are effective in reducing stress, depression, anxiety, and distress.4,5

heart health | Princeton Nutrients

Better Mood

The loss of your good mood can hurt your cardiovascular health just as much as other risk factors. When your mood begins to affect your mind, your body enters a state of emergency readiness, elevating anxiety and sending nervous tension skyrocketing.

Lift your mood and lower the emergency response system in your body with a short meditation every day. Researchers have found mindfulness practices boost psychological health. In one study, meditators reported significantly higher levels of self-compassion, lower levels of fear and negative emotions, as well as higher levels of life satisfaction than those who did not practice.6-8

Are you ready to try a meditation? You can do this heart-awareness practice anywhere you are, right now.

Sit in an upright, comfortable position and close your eyes.
Become aware of your breathing, and place your focus on your heartbeat.
As you listen to your heart, do not be distracted by thoughts in your mind or sensations in your environment. Simply allow them to pass without losing your focus to them. If you find this difficult, repeat this phrase (mantra) when you become distracted: “Truth, consciousness, bliss.”
Do this for 5-10 minutes, then open your eyes.

heart health | Princeton Nutrients

Reducing Your Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Small lifestyle changes, such as beginning a meditation practice,  can have a major impact on improving your cardiovascular disease risk. Here are the main risk factors to avoid in order improve your health, and maybe even save your life:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Cholesterol imbalance (HDL “good” under 40, and LDL “bad” over 160)
  • High blood pressure
  • Not enough regular exercise
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Overweight/obese
  • Diabetes
  • High stress levels9

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. Reduce your risk factors as soon as possible, and aim to meditate at least 15 minutes every day to further protect against cardiac events—as well as adapting other healthy practices in your life, such as losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking.

Meditation helps to reduce stress, but believe it or not, just sitting quietly can take some getting used to. So, be patient with yourself and start small. Dedicate yourself to a few minutes daily and it will pay off in a big way.

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Sources:

1. New statistics show one of every three U.S. deaths caused by cardiovascular disease. December 16, 2015 Categories.

2. Maxwell V. Rainforth, PhD, Robert H. Schneider, MD. Stress Reduction Programs in Patients with Elevated Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2007 December ; 9(6): 520–528.

3. Gianfranco Paratia, Andrew Steptoec. Stress reduction and blood pressure control in hypertension: a role for transcendental meditation?

4. Khoury B, Sharma M. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 2015 Jun;78(6):519-28.

5. Jain FA, Walsh RN. Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Meditation Therapies for Acute and Subacute Phase Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A systematic Review. Psychosomatics. 56 (2): 297–302.

6. Shian-Ling Keng, Moria J. Smoski. Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health: A Review of Empirical Studies. Clin Psychol Rev. Jun 11.

7. Strauss C, Cavanagh K. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for People Diagnosed with a Current Episode of an Anxiety or Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. PLoS ONE. 9 (4): e96110.

8. Jain FA, Walsh RN, Eisendrath SJ. Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Meditation Therapies for Acute and Subacute Phase Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A systematic Review. Psychosomatics. 56 (2): 297–302.

9. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-risk-factors

8 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Life’s tough. You spend most of it figuring out what it is you need to do just to get through it. And, by the time you’re nearing retirement, your habits are pretty much set in stone. You’ve earned them, right?

But, does it always pay to be stubborn? To stick to your regular patterns? It might not … especially when it comes to heart health. The truth of the matter is, your body is changing – so adjusting your habits to accommodate these changes is a must.

When it comes to caring for your heart, you really want to do everything you can to keep the flow of blood to it constant, to make sure it doesn’t decrease. Diminished blood flow can cause several health issues.
And frankly, nobody wants to have their life interrupted if they can prevent it. By now, you must be wondering if there is anything you can do to up your chances of avoiding heart trouble?

Of course there is.

Continue reading “8 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease”

Massage: Luxury or Therapy?

Most people only get massages when they want to pamper themselves.

But massages can be a powerful tool for healing your body. It’s been shown to help…

  • Reduce the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and heart attacks
  • Improve mobility and reduce arthritis pain
  • Improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and aid hypertension
  • Inhibit stress hormones, release happy hormones
  • Massage is a good substitute for people who can’t exercise

There have been many studies done on the benefits of massage…

Continue reading “Massage: Luxury or Therapy?”

What To Expect From Your First Massage

Many people have never had a massage. Maybe you’re one of those people!

If you’ve finally decided to try a massage, there are some things you should know to prepare you for your session.

Continue reading “What To Expect From Your First Massage”

A Guide To Self-Massage

You’ve decided that massage is for you…that’s great!

But, you don’t have time, energy, or money to go see a therapist.

That’s OK. I can teach you a 15-minute massage routine you can do on yourself…in your own home!

Continue reading “A Guide To Self-Massage”

3 Massage Tools You Already Own

For many people massage is a luxury.

Even those with chronic pain from arthritis, joint damage, or muscle strains often can’t afford to see a therapist.

Well, if you’ve seen my recent post about self-massage, you’ve learned a great routine that only takes 15 minutes and will leave you feeling refreshed and re-energized.

Continue reading “3 Massage Tools You Already Own”

Sleep: Can It Be a Predictor of Heart Disease?

Sleep…it’s so restful after a long day…until it’s not.

You know the frustration of restless legs, getting up to pee, the constant chatter in your mind.

You may have even resigned yourself to sleeping less and wilt in front of the T.V. until your eyes droop.

Continue reading “Sleep: Can It Be a Predictor of Heart Disease?”

Heart Attack: From a Bystander’s Point of View

There are moments in your life, good and bad, that you will never forget. For me, one of those moments was a phone call from a few months ago.

At 5 am my wife was awakened by her phone ringing.

Before she could even say hello, I could hear someone crying on the other end.

Continue reading “Heart Attack: From a Bystander’s Point of View”

Could A Printer Save Your Life?

Newer, more modern technology is being developed constantly, it may seem like you just bought the newest version of your phone, only to see an ad for the next generation version.

Phones are one example of upgrades being made everyday, but 2016 has also presented some groundbreaking developments in the world of heart health.

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6 Preventative Heart Tests That Could Save Your Life

For several decades tests made for detecting heart disease were inaccurate and unreliable.

Often the test results would give results like false positives, or may have shown someone who actually suffered from heart disease as being perfectly healthy, despite obvious signs and symptoms.

Previously, the most popular method of detecting a heart problem was taking a stress test, which consisted of running on a treadmill for 45 minutes or as long as you could withstand before a doctor encouraged you to stop.

Continue reading “6 Preventative Heart Tests That Could Save Your Life”