"With regard to heart disease, stress does funny things to us, and I'm convinced that even if we eat right and exercise and meditate and do everything perfectly, we cannot avoid or manage the amount of stress we face every day in our society. In the old days we would be chased by a saber-toothed tiger, and our stress response would work beautifully with increased heart rate, blood pressure sky rocketing and a surge of adrenaline that would prepare us either to fight or run. Or we would die. Either way, the stress response was quite short-lived and worked very well.
"As modern human beings we still have stressors, but they are long-term instead. We cannot run from them and we cannot fight them, but we have the same response as before: our heart rate picks up, our blood pressure rises, and our stress hormones flow. Most of the time we cannot control this, but it is true that meditation helps us practice "calming down" when we feel stressors coming. Ultimately, however, I'm convinced that the only way to avoid heart disease nowadays is to live in the woods far away from traffic and bills and the news and guns and mean people :) "
Physician's Assistant and Friend
Photo: Severe wind on Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.