Stroke, or acute disturbance of blood circulation in the brain, is one of the main (after a heart attack) causes of death of the population in Russia and the world. Both diseases, stroke and heart attack, develop gradually and largely depend on our lifestyle. This means that we have a chance to reduce our risk of having a stroke or heart attack. To do this, it is necessary to control sugar and cholesterol levels, maintain an optimal weight, balance blood pressure (for more information on statistics and the main factors of heart disease, see the WHO website). Another indispensable aid in the fight against stroke is meditation, because it helps to cope with the effects of stress that can provoke cardiovascular disease. This is especially true for residents of megacities. For a year, 40 thousand cases of stroke are diagnosed in Moscow, for comparison, this is several times more than the number of deaths and injuries in road accidents.
Chronic stress is a direct road to stroke. Essentially, stress is an adaptive response in the body that helps us mobilize. At this time, a powerful adrenaline rush occurs, the adrenal glands are working at full strength, and the hormonal system is overstrained. Severe stress leads to vasospasm, heart palpitations, high blood pressure. Now imagine what kind of overload the body experiences, which is in a state of constant stress, most often aggravated by insomnia and deviations from a healthy diet. In particular, this leads to hypertension, which significantly increases the risks of stroke and heart disease.
More often than not, we cannot change stressful situations, but we can control our reaction to them. The relaxation that meditation brings can help lower blood pressure and improve heart rate, breathing, and brain waves.
There is a lot of scientific evidence on the benefits of meditation. For example, a recent study has confirmed that mindfulness meditation affects the functioning of the brain and allows you to cope with stress. In another study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of transcendental meditation as a primary intervention in patients with hypertension. In practitioners of this meditation, systolic blood pressure decreased by 4,7 millimeters and diastolic blood pressure by 3,2 millimeters. Consistent meditation practice can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
By meditating regularly, you will find that you are better able to deal with stress and learn to control it. And meditation is not as difficult as it might seem. As a rule, deep breathing, calm contemplation, or focusing on positive manifestations, be it colors, phrases, or sounds, help in this. There are many types of meditation. Find what works for you. Maybe you just need to listen to soothing music while walking at a moderate pace. Perhaps one of these simple and beautiful ways of meditation will work for you. If you are at a loss for where to start, try this one minute meditation.