If you’ve logged into Elon Twitter recently or even just turned on the news and noticed your blood pressure spike, I’m here to encourage you to seriously practice mindfulness.
A new research finding presented at a recent American Heart Association conference found that mindfulness can be beneficial in lowering blood pressure. An 8-week program, Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) was tailored for people with elevated blood pressure and was compared to enhanced usual care (home blood pressure monitor, facilitated access to a physician).
Key takeways from the study:
Program participants were taught attention control, meditation, self-awareness, and emotional regulation so they could make healthy changes in diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and stress, as well as weekly group sessions and mindfulness exercises.
Meditation program participants were more likely to eat heart-healthy foods and report lower stress levels than those in enhanced usual care.
In a 6-month follow-up, participants who completed the 8-week mindfulness program had significantly reduced blood pressure levels.
Nearly half of US adults have high blood pressure or hypertension, and many aren’t aware of it. Heart disease and stroke, the top two killers in the US, are risk factors for high blood pressure, and this finding could help many keep their blood pressure under control.
It is also important to maintain low blood pressure by following a healthy diet, sleeping enough, maintaining physical activity, and reinforcing healthy choices each day.
Other benefits of mindfulness practice include stress reduction, memory enhancement, focus, and cognitive flexibility.