With our lives being full of chaos and high-intensity activities, chronic stress can be one of the major reasons for developing hypertension, especially in young-aged and middle-aged adults. Granted, lifestyle changes like a change in diet, losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking can reduce hypertension, but there are also a few other mindful techniques like spiritual meditation and chanting that one can significantly benefit from.
In a study conducted by the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers have found that the practice of transcendental meditation can significantly reduce insulin resistance, lower blood pressure, and decrease heart rate variability. “It’s possible to use the mind-body connection to tap into the body’s own inner intelligence to bring about changes in physiology to reverse the risk of diabetes and heart disease,” says Dr. Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at the Maharishi University in Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa. Practices that calm the mind can also lower blood pressure. These practices are mostly types of spiritual meditation used to reach a state of “thoughtful awareness” or “restful awareness.”
One of the biggest studies of its kind, presented to the American Heart Association found patients with coronary heart disease who practiced meditation and chanting had nearly 50 percent lower rates of heart attack, stroke, and death compared to non-meditating subjects. Scientific studies have also proven that chanting can decrease stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, as well as increase positive mood, feelings of relaxation, and focused attention. Repetitive vocal chanting can have a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system as it can slow down breathing and activate the vagus nerve. Subsequently, spiritual meditation is the practice of training your mind to let the tension go. Sometimes, being aware that you’re not always in control can make you more effective in matters where you do have control.
Let’s understand why chanting Om and spiritual meditation has a high divine and creative power.
According to Hindu culture, Om is known as the first sound of the universe, becoming the most important and powerful sound of the universe. From this first vibration, all other vibrations are able to manifest.
Furthermore, sound vibration’s significant impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental state has been proven by several studies. So, by chanting Om, we align our frequency with that of the original frequency of the universe, the spiritual energy of the Absolute. As the seed of transcendental sound, Om helps us transform the mind and the senses. Chanting Om aligns the mind with the breath and empowers an individual to embrace a deeper state of consciousness called samadhi.
The word Om can further be broken down into three letters – A – U – M which represent a number of sacred trinities:
- The different conditions of consciousness – the waking state, the dreaming state, and the deep sleep state.
- The deities in charge of the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
- The three original Vedic scriptures – Rig, Yajur, and Sama
- The three worlds – earth, atmosphere, and ether.
- The three aspects of time – past, present, and future.
- In the Bhakti tradition (yoga of devotion) – Krishna (seen by his devotees as the God of Creation), Radharani (God’s female counterpart), and the ordinary living beings.
How Do Chanting Om and Spiritual Meditation Benefit Your Health?
- It improves sleep quality
- It removes any stress and makes you free of anxiety
- It helps you balance your emotions and remain calm during stressful situations
- Chanting Om can help you attain better focus
- It improves your memory and concentration power
- It builds positive energy and makes you more optimistic
- It helps you to stay away from negative emotions like anger, envy, and frustration
- Chanting Om can bring peace of mind and wellness to your whole being
- And finally, it relaxes your body and brings down your blood pressure to the normal level, helping your heartbeat at the regular rhythm
The Right Way of Chanting Om
Om represents the creation, preservation, and dissolution of the universe. The vibration travels through the seven main chakras of the body, passing and eventually dissolving itself. It begins with the solar plexus chakra, near the diaphragm where the “A” of the syllable is emphasized. Progressing through, it travels to the heart, throat, and eye chakras with the letter “U” until it reaches the crown where it dissolves with its last part, the “M.”
Ensure that you’re in a quiet place when chanting so that you can focus without distractions.
Keep your spine straight yet relaxed.
Start with the “A”, holding the “U” as much as your breath allows, and then end with the “M” as you exhale your breath.
Chant this for at least 15 minutes to get into a substantial meditative practice.
You can also try this deep meditation music to relax your mind and body.