Mindfulness can reduce stress, lower heart attack risk

  • By Cynthia Nowowiejski, MSW Aging and Disability Resource Specialist
  • Wednesday, February 15, 2017 5:03pm
  • LifeSeniors

Q: I have experienced significant stresses in my life recently and have developed high blood pressure. I am concerned about my heart health. What activities could help decrease my stress and heart disease risk?

A: Stress is your body’s natural alarm system. It releases a hormone called adrenaline that causes your breathing to quicken and your heart rate and blood pressure to rise. Stress, over a long period of time, can have an impact on your overall health, including your heart.

To keep your heart in tip top shape, pay attention to your body’s needs. Key indicators for a healthy heart include having normal blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose levels; having a good body mass index (BMI), exercising regularly, and eating vegetables and fruits.

Practicing mindfulness: Taking a few minutes to relax each day could help lower your risk of heart disease. You may have heard of “mindfulness,” a practice in which people learn to be more aware of every moment. Mindfulness meditation has been linked to lower emotional and chemical stress levels: The abilities to ease depression and anxiety; and to reduce arthritis pain, asthma, risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease.

A study conducted at Brown University revealed that being mindful could have a positive impact on your heart health. People who scored high on the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale were 83 percent more likely to fit the American Heart Association’s profile of heart health compared to those who were less mindful.

Mindfulness can be done simply, every day. Mindfulness is an individualized approach, so that you can feel comfortable with your own practice. You may want to follow a guided meditation for 5-10 minutes a day.

Mindfulness groups: Senior Services offers two Mindfulness Groups in Snohomish County:

Center for Healthy Living, 4100 Alderwood Mall Blvd., Suite 1, Lynnwood. 1-2 p.m. second and fourth Tuesdays.

Stillaguamish Senior Center, 18308 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington. 9:50-10:50 a.m. second and fourth Tuesdays.

The contact person for both groups is certified counselor Carol Teichgrab, 425-740-3793.

Talk to us

More in Life

Most of the rooms boast views of Lake Stevens and the Cascade Range. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Victorian home puzzle inspired this Lake Stevens mansion

The 10,490-square-foot Mansion Inn is a massive secret that’s perfect for a mini getaway.

Caption: The years come and go, but some birthdays warrant extra reflection. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Milestone birthdays make parents ask: where did the time go?

From cake frosting in their hair to the car keys in their hands, it all goes by so fast.

Frankfurt's Romerberg Square looks old, but the half-timbered buildings were rebuilt in 1983, four decades after bombs destroyed the originals during World War II.
Rick Steves’ Europe: Experience modern Germany in Frankfurt

For years, Frankfurt was a city to avoid, but today, its no-nonsense energy makes it worth a look.

Budget charges $250 for calibrating a camera. Is that legit?

Budget sends Tony Parise a $250 bill for recalibrating a camera on the windshield of his rental car. But he says nothing happened to it. Does he still have to pay?

2023 Honda Pilot AWD TrailSport SUV (Honda)
2023 Honda Pilot AWD TrailSport SUV

If you are the adventurer type, the 2023 Honda Pilot AWD TrailSport SUV is right up your alley.

Featuring original band members Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier, Heart By Heart will perform Saturday night in Everett. (Steve Spatafore)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

MUSIC “No Quarter”: Led Zeppelin tribute by local band Colossal Boss. 7:30… Continue reading

This midcentury Windsor style chair features the crest and colors of Harvard University. It sold for $438, more than twice its estimate, at a Bonhams Skinner auction.
This chair brings together two icons of colonial America

This Harvard University Windsor chair is just one of many variations on so-called stick furniture.

Home & Garden Briefly: Arboretum to host ‘poetry in the trees’ exhibit

Arboretum to host ‘poetry in the trees’ exhibit In honor of National… Continue reading

Bold graphics on the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R body side are optional. (Ford)
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is a big sandbox toy for grownups

The Raptor, previous king of capability, is now the ‘regular’ Raptor, dethroned by this new arrival.

Steve Klein moves some of his glasswork into place as fellow guest curator Meg Holgate watches during installation of A Precarious Edge at Schack Art Center on Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Exhibits shine light on natural beauty on the edge of loss

Artists worried about climate change work ‘for future generations’

The best Italian food in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied, here are the results.

In this side-by-side image, the Totem Diner and Pacific Stone Company signs put on a flirty display for all to see Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Signs of love on Rucker Ave: blushing rocks, scrambled eggs, a coffee date

Messages on display on Totem Family Diner and Pacific Stone Co. signs reveal “secret crushes.” More updates expected.