6a.m. No matter where I am in the world, I do this one daily habit like clockwork. It’s changed my life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m more patient, I’m less flustered by daily hassles, and I’m more resilient when the going gets tough.
If you take up this daily habit, it will change your life, too. But things like patience and well-being are hard to measure. Do I have any real PROOF that this habit will work for you?
Yes, I do. Here are some hard numbers to back up my claims about its miraculous benefits.
It all started in the basement of a local church at a blood drive. Before they suck your blood, the nurse takes your blood pressure. I couldn’t remember the last time I had my blood pressure checked, but I do recall it consistently to be 122/80. That should be no surprise, I’m a young, active, non-smoker, with no family history of hypertension.
But I didn’t think it could go lower. That’s why I was shocked when the nurse said, “116/70, excellent.”
Her stethoscope must have been broken.
But a month later, I visited my family doctor about a minor foot injury. Before he could see me, a nurse wrapped the cuff around my biceps for another reading.
As you might know, there’s a phenomenon called White Coat Hypertension. This is defined as “a syndrome whereby a patient’s feeling of anxiety in a medical environment results in an abnormally high reading when their blood pressure is measured.” I was a little anxious that morning and expected my blood pressure to be back above 120/80. But no, again it came in at 116/70.
I wondered if that was too low. It’s not.
According to Harvard Medical, “Several studies have shown that your cardiovascular risk starts climbing at 115/75 mm Hg – not 140/90. And starting at 115/75, the risk doubles for each 20 mm Hg increase in the systolic pressure and each 10 mm Hg increase in the diastolic pressure.”
My blood pressure is almost perfect. It’s even better than when I was 30.
So how did I lower my blood pressure if I was already an active, young, non-smoker?
I can only ascribe it to my daily morning meditation.
Since starting in January 2013, I’ve meditated almost 1,000 days in a row for at least 3 minutes, with an average session lasting 20 minutes.
With no exaggeration, it’s changed my life. Many of my friends, clients, and employees have told me so.
I am less prone to angry outbursts when things go wrong – like when our website crashes or when a TT reader complains about my slow response on Facebook (what can I say, I’m FAR from perfect!).
I’m a more patient listener during work meetings, contract negotiations, and heated debates about the superiority of chocolate labs over all other breeds. 🙂
Most importantly to me, meditation has reduced my anxiety. I no longer feel the tightening compression and tingling in my chest when I’m really busy or when things go wrong or when I’m forced to set aside my introverted nature and talk to strangers.
And now it seems clear that meditation has had a positive, quantifiable impact on my blood pressure.
That’s why I recommend you add this habit to your life today.
Start small, just a few minutes at a time. That’s what I did. My first session was just 3 minutes long. So were the next few after that. And I noticed big benefits from those short meditations, too.
These days it’s easier than ever to get started. My friend Adam Brewer has a guided 3-minute meditation program for you.
The best part?
You can do it anywhere (I even meditate on airplanes during take-off!).
And there’s no sweating or muscle soreness involved. 🙂
It’s so simple and easy even a Chocolate Lab could do it… right, Bally?
Oh wait, he’s still sleeping.
Alright, time to finish my daily session and then wake up Bally for a sunrise walk.
Try a little meditation today. Enjoy the relaxation that deep breathing will bring. Eventually it will become a pleasant daily habit that you won’t want to miss, and you’ll feel better, look better, and be healthier in so many ways.
To your future relaxation,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – Have you ever read this poem?
I love these words…
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you… If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same… Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.” – Rudyard Kipling
PPS – Make it a great – and relaxing – week!