Greetings #WellnessWOWers, Super Wonder Women and those who seek wellness, harmony and balance in every area of your life! Dr. Michelle Clay here, your Holistic Physician specializing in stress release for burned out business-women and overwhelmed overachievers helping you find your happy and healthy place of harmony.
February is American Heart Month when there is a big push to inform people off ways to keep their heart healthy. Though today is the last day, you should focus on implementing and maintaining heart healthy practices throughout the year. Did you realize that Mindfulness, Mindset and heart health go hand-in-hand? Here’s how.
There is a connection between heart health and the amount of stress you experience. One of the most detrimental effects of stress on your cardiovascular health is high blood pressure.
We make matters worse by “stress eating.” Usually when you feel overwhelmed, your go-to comfort foods are sugary or salty snacks. Instead of grabbing for those, let’s switch the narrative. There is a practice called Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction. One of the main components of this practice is meditation. Here are 5 ways mindfulness via meditation can give you a happy heart:
1. Reduces risk of heart disease
Heart disease is a term that is interchangeable with cardiovascular disease. Examples of heart disease include heart failure, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rate), or problems with the heart valves (i.e. mitral and tricuspid).
2. Improves heart function
American Heart Association. Research published in its 2012 journal found that African Americans with heart disease who practiced meditation regularly were 48% less likely to have a heart attack
Meditation is also shown to reduce blood pressure. An analysis of several studies showed that on average, meditation lowered systolic pressure (the top number) by 4.7 points and the diastolic pressure (bottom number) by 3.2 points.
3. Lowers heart rate
Normal heart rate is 60-100 with the average of people being between 60-80 bpm (beats per minute). A lower heart rate benefits the entire and allows the heart to do its job better by pumping blood throughout the body more efficiently. It also lowers your risk for high blood pressure and heart attack. Before I started exercising regularly, I had a consistent meditation practice. My resting heart rate is 54 bpm.
4. Shifts mindset by shifting focus
When you consistently meditate, it helps you shift your mindset from doom, gloom, and stagnation, to growth, expansion and harmony. It allows you to be more intentional with your feelings and reactions, allowing you to direct more of what kind of day you will have. I always conclude my conversations with, “Have a positive day.” The intention is that it will help shift the person’s focus to commit to having a positive day and be rooted in that affirmation.
5. Reduces stress
As stated above, meditation is an integral part of mindfulness. When you meditate, you allow your mind to stop racing, slow down and be present and grateful in the moment. This gives you the space to listen to the promptings of your heart without fear and without judgement. If you get the thoughts out of your head, then you can listen to your heart. Also, when you meditate, you are conscious of your breath and breathe rhythmically. This helps you release stress, get off auto-pilot, and ground yourself so you will be unshakable and unstoppable when life’s challenges come your way.
I know it can be tough to free yourself from things in your life that don’t honor you and stress you out. You may have challenges creating “me time” or setting boundaries with others so that you can focus on your needs, just for a moment. You need help, support and a strategy. Let’s do it together. www.freelifestrategy.com to schedule your 15-minute complimentary session. Listen to the promptings of your heart and begin the process of creating your burnout to balance blueprint.
See you then!
Yours in Health and Harmony,
Dr. Michelle Clay is a speaker, best-selling author & Holistic Physician specializing in the release and management of stress and its associated symptoms simply and naturally. Through her company FREELIFE7, Dr. Michelle enhances lives by harmonizing all dimensions of wellness through wellness coaching programs, workshops and speaking engagements to help stressed out and burned out high achievers, leaders and exhausted executives discover their sense of balance, calm, clarity and confidence to live a FREELIFE on purpose with passion. She is frequently called upon to give a refreshing holistic perspective on ways to release stress, recharge health and shift mindset for wellness success.