Can You Find Calm Through Meditation?
How Does It Work?
In short: Meditation helps people reduce stress. Stress stimulates our fight-or-flight response, which raises blood pressure, narrows blood vessels, tightens muscles, increases heart and breath rate, and floods our bodies with stress hormones.
Chronic stress has been linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver, suicide, and accidents. And two-thirds of all office visits to family physicians are due to stress-related symptoms.
Meditation stimulates the part of the nervous system that lowers heart and breath rate and blood pressure, relaxes muscles, and can reduce stress hormones to a normal range, says Brent Bauer, MD, director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
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