Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Preserve Your Health with Meditation

Mar 02, 2016

Stress is killing you. According to the American Institute of Stress, 60 percent of all human illness and disease can be attributed to stress. Three in four doctors visits are for stress-related ailments.

Stress is also a factor in the obesity epidemic — 40 percent of people who are stressed overeat or eat unhealthy foods. Stress can shorten your life by making you more susceptible to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Treating the stress in your life is vital to maintain a healthy heart and live a long life.

Meditation is one way you can reduce stress and improve your health. It is an evidence-based treatment for stress that does not require seeing a doctor or taking medications. Managing stress reduces the negative effects of adrenal hormones that are stimulated by stress. Meditation can work to turn down these stress hormones.

Some people may be turned off to the idea of meditation due to its spiritual connotations, but meditation itself is simply a practice of slowed, mindful breathing. Recent research shows that taking deep diaphragmatic breaths and slowing your breathing to 5-7 breaths a minute compared to the average of 12-18 breaths affects an important nerve, the vagus nerve, which controls heart rate, gut function, mental patterns, mood, asthma and more.

Learning stress-reduction techniques like meditation can help preserve your health, and maybe even save your life.