I learned to meditate as a teenager .. so, from my own personal experience, I can confidently confirm that there are way more than 52 reasons why you should meditate!

Each week this year, I have the intention to post one Reason to Meditate .. so by the end of 2021 there should be #52ReasonsToMeditate shared. Each post will appear here on my Blog and also on LinkedIn .. as I am truly encouraged with the growing interest in meditation and mindfulness within the corporate space – this was certainly not the case when I working in the competitive recruitment sector! If you would like to connect over on LinkedIn – come say hello here!

But, I already had a personal meditation practice of many years to support me in staying focused, staying calm, and staying present.

In no particular order, each week I shall share one reason why you should meditate .. including some current research and some of my own research (done in the laboratory of my own practice). You can also read past posts via a link at the bottom of each page. And this week in #Meditation52ReasonsWhy:


One of the earliest findings, and most compelling reasons for ongoing research into meditation, has been the physical benefit of lowering blood pressure.

#2 Heart Health

An article published this week by Harvard Health Publishing ‘Can meditation help your heart’ referenced an article published in the American Journal of Cardiology (Sept. 2020):

“Researchers studied more than 61,000 people who took part in the two most recent National Health Interview Surveys (done in 2012 and 2017). Nearly 10% of the participants said they practiced some form of meditation. After adjusting for age, sex, sleep, depression, and other possible confounding factors, researchers found people who meditated had a lower prevalence of high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary artery disease compared with people who didn’t meditate.”

One of the earliest initial studies into heart health and meditation was done by Dr. Herbert Benson back in the late 1960s, who found that the relaxation response slows down your heart and breathing and reduces your oxygen consumption.

Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital says, “Many forms of meditation slow down your breathing, which leads to the downstream physiological effects, such as lowered blood pressure. In fact, meditation allows one to evoke the relaxation response, which refers to the physiologic changes that are the opposite of the body’s “fight or flight” stress response.”

A 2018 BHI-led study suggested that in some people, regularly evoking the relaxation response appeared to turn on genes involved in dilating the blood vessels and turn off genes associated with inflammation and blood vessel constriction.

“Regular meditation also may help raise heart rate variability, according to one small study. Finally, it’s possible (though not proven) that meditation may encourage other behaviors that foster heart health, such as sleeping more soundly and feeling less stressed. High stress levels can lead some people to develop unhealthy habits, such as eating too much junk food and drinking too much alcohol”, notes Dr. Mehta.

Other earlier studies have also shown that meditation can lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients: a study published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabitilitation (1989) found 80% of hypertensive patients had lowered blood pressure and decreased medications – and 16% are able to discontinue all of their medications, with these results lasting at least three years.

In a clinical experiment with elderly African Americans (mean age 66) dwelling in an inner-city community, meditation was compared with the most widely used method of producing physiological relaxation. Those who practiced a silent mantra meditation over a three month period and who had moderately elevated blood pressure levels dropped their blood pressure significantly. A second study conducted at Harvard found similar blood pressure reduction changes. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1989)

Meditation training has been shown to reduce hypertension and blood pressure in amounts comparable to the changes produced by medication and other lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, sodium restriction, and increased aerobic activity. (Schneider 1995, Linden 1996)

Personally, while I have no medical heart issues, I have experienced moments when my heart seems to be beating harder and faster than feels comfortable or necessary. In those moments I have some breath awareness exercises on hand that I know (from experience) will rapidly and effectively slow down my breathing and slow down those heart palpitations. It is empowering to know that I have these life tools available when I need them.


Sit or lie down comfortably.
Close your eyes if that feels restful.
Observe how your body feels (soft, hard, energized, fatigued)
Observe how your breath feels (fast, slow, ragged, jumpy, light)

Consciously invite your body to relax, starting at your feet and slowly shifting up through your body to your face. Notice where there might be tension or tightness and breathe into that space and as you breathe out, see if you can soften just a little more.

Relax your tongue. This is a technique to help your thoughts to quieten.

As you EXHALE through your nose, notice that you are breathing and silently say the word “ONE”.

Allow your inhalation to move in its own rhythm without any interference .. simply continue to say “ONE” on each EXHALE.

Allow your breathing to be effortless. There is no need to control or change your breath.

Continue for a few minutes, building up over time to 15 or 20 minutes.

When finished allow yourself just a few more moments to sit quietly and slowly open your eyes.

Don’t try to relax. Maintain a passive attitude and allow relaxation to unfold, it is a process and sometimes we just need to get out of our own way. With practice, the relaxation response will unfold with little effort or focus.

Try practicing this technique once or twice a day, however, avoid doing so near meal times as the digestive processes can interfere with eliciting the relaxation response.

“My secret? I meditate!”
Sarah, Quiet Mind Meditation

If you would like to start meditating: I have some online options over HERE or email me hello@quietmind.com.au if you would like me to tailor a corporate session to suit your team.

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