An excerpt from a article on mindfulness by Duke University researcher.
Get Serenity Now By June Spence at Duke University
The link between emotional and physical health is not a theory — it’s a fact.
“We know there’s a relationship between mental health and heart health,” says cardiologist Christopher O’Connor, MD, director of the Duke Heart Center and co-director of the new Duke Heart-Mind Center.
Christopher O’Connor, MD”For example, people with depression are shown to have blood platelets that are stickier and therefore more likely to form a clot; it’s also associated with an increase in inflammation and heart rhythm disturbances.”
And there’s a behavioral component, as well: a person under stress tends to isolate herself more, which means less social support, a key factor in healthy living. Stressed people are also less likely to take their medication responsibly or to actively participate in their health care, he says.
It all adds up to a higher likelihood of health crises, complications, and perhaps a shorter life. As study after study offers yet another compelling reason not to let stressful emotions wreak havoc on your body, perhaps it’s finally time to take the advice of teenagers everywhere to heart — and just chill. Here’s how:
Just Sit There
Jeffrey Brantley, MDPeople who practice meditation and mindfulness have better health outcomes than those who don’t, according to Jeff Brantley, MD, director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke Integrative Medicine and the author of several how-to books on the subject, including Calming Your Anxious Mind.
“Research has shown that the ability to concentrate attention can promote deep relaxation in the body, and that the ability to be more mindful in each situation can help break the destructive habitual reactions to stress.”