Recently, FOX 2 sat in on a group meditation session. You could almost feel the stress slipping away, which is good for the mind and body.
“So, what happens when we have elevated stress levels is the stress hormones in the body are produced in excess and there is a chronic elevation of those hormones. Those actually cause damage to the vascular walls, to the heart and to the other organs, and that is what raises the blood pressure,” said Beaumont [Mich.] Cardiologist Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D.
To mediate, all you really need is a quite place and the ability to still your mind. Dr. Chinnaiyan said just a few minutes every day could have tremendous benefits.
“Adding this aspect of meditation actually has been shown to decrease blood pressure, decrease blood cholesterol, reverse heart disease in some instances and actually prevent its progression,” she said.
“I go into my favorite room in the house, which is the living room, where it’s quiet and nobody’s out of bed yet, and this is where I usually find my time and my peace,” said Sandy Kovach.
“Having high blood pressure is not a normal thing,” Chinnaiyan said.
On the path to a healthier heart, Kovach is one of several local women taking part in the American Heart Association’s My Life Check Makeover. She and Kim Pratt are learning how this quiet relaxation can inspire change.
“Meditation … for one, has helped me lower my blood pressure. It’s helped me calm down and actually enjoy things around me. I just went on a trip last week, and I actually noticed the scenery more than I would normally just kind of (rushing) through,” said Pratt.
“If you’re driving and you get to some place and you have two minutes, that’s all it takes. Make it a habit. The issue is not about sitting down for 20 minutes every day. The issue is about making it a habit like brushing your teeth,” said Chinnaiyan.
Stress is one of the risk factors for heart disease. During the month of February, which is heart month, we’re focusing on how to reduce your risk of the number one killer.
To learn more about managing your stress or the My Life Check Assessment, check out the link below:
American Heart Association: Four Ways to Deal with Stress