Mindfulness Meditation Technique to Lower Blood Pressure
Stress is the reality of our life. Job race, emotional distress, etc., is known to cause hypertension. Stress is a natural phenomenon in our lives but not entirely unavoidable. A moderate amount of stress can be helpful. However, excessive stress can change the dynamics of your health. Incorporating a couple of lifestyle changes into our daily routine, like practicing mindfulness meditation, will work wonders in minimising hypertension.
Medical research has established a relationship between meditation and hypertension. Practices like mindfulness meditation help calm the mind and thus also lower blood pressure.
Let’s delve into the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in lowering blood pressure.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation aims to train your brain to remain fully present at the moment and to accept feelings, emotions, sensations, or thoughts without negativity and judgment.
It is a mental practice of being aware of one’s surroundings, situation, body, and mind without being overwhelmed. Mindfulness helps you get into a calm state of mind, in which you activate and are mindful of all your senses. This state of mind is also referred to as ‘thoughtful awareness’ or ‘restful alertness.’
Mindfulness meditation to lower blood pressure is practiced to calm you by getting rid of racing thoughts and the stress caused by them. You need to settle in, close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax.
This mindful practice helps to reduce stress, anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure. Moreover, it is also known to improve attention, memory, and brain activity.
Relation between Meditation and Hypertension
The following study will help understand the importance of meditation for high blood pressure.
In a clinical study, the benefits of mindfulness meditation were tested in controlling ambulatory blood pressure (BP) and its impact on stress, anxiety, and depression levels.
Forty-two patients with a mean age of 56.5 years were used for the clinical trial. 61.9% of the patients dealt with anxiety, while 21.4% had depression, 19.0% were smokers, and 14.2% were diabetic. Over eight weeks, for 2 hours, the patients received mindfulness training.
After 20 follow-up visits, the BP means of the group were lower, but the members had also become more accepting, less judgmental, and depressed.
How Can Mindfulness Meditation Help?
Based on medical science research, mental changes affect the cardiovascular system. Several studies show that mindfulness meditation to lower blood pressure is effective in treating hypertension. Let’s find out how the practice has helped
- Mindfulness meditation and relaxation training against stress have helped older adults with isolated systolic hypertension control their blood pressure and eliminate their medications. This became possible because blood pressure falls during the meditation and relaxation; blood vessel constriction and inflammation become less active, thus allowing the blood vessels to widen.
- Furthermore, meditation and relaxation release nitric oxide in the body, a molecule that helps relax and widen blood vessels. This chemical release also keeps blood pressure under control. Studies have proven that people who practised meditation had higher nitric oxide levels in their breath than a group that did not practice meditation.
A How-To Guide for Practicing Mindfulness Meditation
You can practice mindfulness meditation twice a day, for 10 to 20 minutes, or as is recommended by meditation experts. Follow these simple steps—
- Sit in a quiet and comfortable spot. You may sit on the floor on a chair.
- Relax your muscles and try to straighten but not stiffen your head, neck, and back.
- Close your eyes, and notice your legs, arms, and the place you are sitting.
- Feel the air around you; pay attention to your breath; feel your belly and nostrils when inhaling and exhaling.
- Now, try to focus on your thoughts. Let them flow freely; try not to suppress or dodge them. If the process interferes with anxiety, fear, or other stray thoughts, try to focus on your breathing and refocus your energy on being present in the moment.
- Remember, don’t be hard on yourself. It is natural to be interrupted by worrying thoughts. But the key is to relax and accept your situation, emotions, etc., without being overwhelmed.
There have been landmark studies and clinical trials that have been undertaken for medical research to observe the effectiveness of mindfulness and high blood pressure. Transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation for stress reduction have clinically reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels among patients of different age groups.
The use of medicines to treat hypertension is essential. However, meditation to reduce blood pressure is also recommended in medical practice to prevent or reduce elevated blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients.
Hypertension is caused due to poor lifestyle habits. Medical research has established that improved treatment, preventative measures, and lifestyle changes can lead to a 60% decrease in age-adjusted death rates from hypertension and related diseases. Find out more about meditation techniques to control blood pressure at BPinControl.
Besides practicing mindfulness mediation, hypertensive patients should regularly check their BP and visit the physician for timely clinical interventions.