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Meditation Tips: Two Simple Ways to Get a Healthier Heart and Reduce Stress


Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the stress in your life that you wanted to just throw your arms up in the air and give up? With the pace of life today you can certainly feel the weight of the world bearing down on you on a daily basis. So what can you do to reduce the stress in your life, and get a healthier heart in the process? One way is meditation. Now before you write off meditation as an option, take a look at these simple techniques. You may just surprise yourself!

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the stress in your life that you wanted to just throw your arms up in the air and give up? Believe me, I’ve been there many times! With the pace of life today you can certainly feel the weight of the world bearing down on you on a daily basis. And you’re not alone! Most people will attest to feeling stressed out at times.
And while stress is often thought to be a mental problem, it can also wreak havoc on your physical self – especially your heart.

So what can you do to reduce the stress in your life, and get a healthier heart in the process?

One way is meditation.

Now before you write off meditation as an option, either because you don’t know how to meditate, or you don’t think you have time, take a look at the below techniques. You may just surprise yourself!

What can meditation do for you?
Meditation has been around for many years.  It has been scientifically proven that meditation can help fight stress and related disorders like high blood pressure, insomnia and various heart diseases. In fact, according to a recent MSNBC article, a new study has shown that participating in a particular type of meditation twice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure.

According to Dr. James W. Anderson, the study’s lead author, blood pressure reductions that are associated with the regular practice of transcendental meditation (TM) can reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular causes by 12 to 15 percent.  It can also lower you risk of stroke by 15 to 20 percent. 

How does meditation work?
Meditation helps you block out the “noisiness of your life” and bring in a sense of peace and serenity. 

That may sound a little foo-foo, but it’s true! You can’t argue with science!

Below are just a couple of techniques that you can try to see which one will work for you.  For both of these techniques you should find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed or distracted.  Make yourself comfortable. You should take a few deep, slow breaths and relax your body.  Begin by focusing on your feet, then the calves, knees and work your way up to your head. Close your eyes.  Now you are ready for the breathing exercises.

4-4-8 Technique
First, inhale deeply to a count of four.  Be sure that your lungs are filled up completely so that you can see and feel your abdomen filling up.  Next, hold your breath for a count of four.  Then exhale for eight counts.  While you are inhaling, you should try to visualize all that is special, healthy, clean and pure in your world.  While you are holding your breath, try to imagine every single cell in your body being filled up with all of those qualities. Then, when you exhale, imagine all negativity, pain, toxins, impatience, anger, and illness leaving your body.  Start off doing three sets of 12 repetitions and work your way up to 12 sets of 12 repetitions. 

Transcendental Meditation (TM)
The goal of this technique is to enlighten the seven major states of consciousness.  The first three being waking, dreaming and deep dreamless sleep.  The fourth state is the transcendental consciousness.  The fifth state is cosmic consciousness.  The sixth and seventh states are god consciousness and unity consciousness, respectively. 

This technique originated in 1955 by the Indian ascetic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  To perform a TM, you sit in a comfortable chair for 20 minutes twice a day and try to quiet your mind by focusing on a mantra.   "It's fairly simple but you need training to get into it," said Dr. Anderson.  "It allows you to get below the kind of 'cocktail chatter' that's always going on in your brain."  To reach the deep, maximum benefits of this technique, it is recommended to seek a professional who can teach you the correct way to perform it.

According to Anderson, there are a number of meditation techniques.  However, the TM has a unique ability to bring a person into a “quiet zone” that acts as a “sanctuary” which will refresh you and reduce stress, therefore helping with all types of health issues.

It’s almost impossible to avoid all forms of stress in your life, but by practicing meditation you can relieve some of the weight stress has on your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Think about it - isn’t 20 minutes of quiet time now and then worth a lifetime of good health?



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