Meditation Offers Heart Health Benefits for Delawareans

Practicing meditation daily is beneficial to your heart health and can lead to the reduction of heart attack and stroke.

Meditation, it turns out, is as good for your heart as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just five to 10 minutes a day can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system and, ultimately, reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.

“People who practice mindfulness learn how to be more responsive rather than reactive to situations around them and develop a more accurate appraisal of what’s going on from moment to moment,” says William McCracken, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of the Delaware Center for Mindfulness, which offers workshops and programs on the practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction.

By focusing on your breathing and learning how to observe your thoughts without judgment, you can reduce the surge in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (which cause spikes in blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen consumption), thus reducing the stress on your heart.

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Not sure where to start? There are numerous apps and meditation classes to help you get started. It’s as simple as sitting quietly for a few minutes each day and focusing on your breath, noticing your thoughts and then…letting them go. With a little bit of practice and consistency, you’ll be on your way to less stress and a healthier ticker.

Related: 6 Common Health Issues Impacting Delaware’s 50-Plus Community

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