Restore your heart with meditation: The Tribune India

New Delhi, September 23

The ancient practice of meditation can do more than just relax the mind. Recent studies have found that meditation can positively impact heart health by reducing stress and lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

Mindfulness and meditation can benefit overall health, including heart health. This age-old practice uses silent contemplation, breathing, and sustained concentration to help release stress and help you feel more calm and peaceful. It can be seen as a mini-vacation away from the stresses of life.

Psychological stress increases the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. This causes a release of harmful hormones, cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. These harmful hormones make the heart beat faster, increase cardiac output and narrow the arteries. As meditation induces deep relaxation in the mind and body, stress is reduced and stability is restored.

How to make meditation a habit?

Once people understand the basics of the practice, the next challenge is to make it a habit. Like any other lifestyle change, it takes time to incorporate meditation into daily life and make it a routine. Here are a few tips:

. Set a daily alarm on the phone or block the time on a digital calendar. Try an app that reminds you when it’s time to meditate, then log the duration of the session. Start by practicing for a few minutes each day and increase the time in small amounts until the goal is achieved. Meditation to connect to the energy of the heart Here are some simple steps to connect to the energy of the heart: . Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

. Let go of all thoughts and the outside world.

. Focus your attention on the spiritual center of the heart (the middle of the chest) and be aware of the heart as space.

. Bringing attention to the heart center, breathe gently and feel the breath flow into the heart. One can also visualize a freshness permeating the chest.

. Breathe normally and regularly.

. For the next few minutes sit and listen to the heart. The heart will gradually begin to release emotions, wishes, memories, dreams and fears long stored within. If the mind wanders, gently return to concentration on the heart.

. After completing the meditation practice, take a few moments to reflect on the practice.

Why meditation can be useful for heart health?

Several studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress levels, lower cortisol levels, and improve heart health. Meditation can activate the body’s “rest and digest” functions, which counteract “flight or fight” responses. With the daily practice of meditation, people can lower their heart rate and blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Here’s a look at what different studies have to say about meditation and heart health.

In 2013, researchers from the University of Sydney found that meditation can improve HRV. It is an important marker of mental and physical health. After spending ten intensive days learning to meditate, the meditation dramatically improved the responsiveness of the heart.

In 2021, the American Journal of Biomedical Science and Research published a report on the effect of meditation on heart rate. He revealed that over time, meditation helps the heart beat slower and become more coherent. This indicates that meditation may be effective in preventing heart disease.

The International Journal of Exercise Science published a study in 2017 on the effect of meditation on stressed students. Throughout the 6 week meditation program, blood pressure and pulse rate decreased significantly.

It takes time to learn meditation and gain confidence, just like any new business. The important thing is to practice every day, if only for a few minutes. Meditation, however brief, is always better than doing nothing. A schedule can also be used to establish a routine. In addition, every day, one must try to practice meditation. Daily practice can have tremendous benefits not only for the heart, but also for the mind, body and soul.

IANS

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