Meditation is one way to help us relax. The American Heart Association (AHA) stated that according to a recent study, meditation may decrease the risk of heart disease. The study included practices such as:
- Mindful meditation: focuses one’s attention
- Raja yoga meditation: addresses confidence, awareness, and independence
- Relaxation response: counters the physical effects of the fight-or-flight response during a stressful situation
- Samatha: builds a sense of peace and calmness
- Transcendental meditation: helps settle an active mind
- Vipassana: promotes concentration and tranquility
- Zen meditation: focuses on breathing while remaining in the moment
If you’re new to meditation, go easy on yourself and check out one technique for a few weeks until you find one or two that work for you. A wide variety of videos is available online that teach these practices for every level, including beginners. Eventually you might even want to consider joining a meditation group.
Since meditation is supposed to help reduce stress, try not to worry if you don’t get the hang of it immediately. If you prefer mindfulness and breathing activities that involve more movement, try this series of five yoga poses. The AHA also recommends Tai Chi.
Most important, we always want to be mindful that as with any medical condition, managing HBP is a multi-pronged approach that includes standards such as:
- taking medication: consistency in dosage and frequency is the key; always follow your primary care physician’s instructions
- managing salt intake: less than 1,500 milligrams (3/4 teaspoon) per day from all sources
- exercising: a total of 30 minutes of activity per day, 5 days a week
- maintaining a healthy weight: losing as little as 10 pounds can help lower BP
- limiting alcohol intake: average one drink per day
- not smoking: ’nuff said?
These guidelines, combined with stress reduction activities, make a great heart-healthy regimen. Do you have other questions about blood pressure, stress management, or other conditions? Talk with Teladoc. Our network of board-certified physicians is available to help diagnose and treat non-emergency illnesses 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. by app, web, or phone.
Here’s to a peaceful mind and healthy heart!
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