How to manage stress with meditation, is it for you?
You health, happiness & harmony is greatly affected by how you react to stressful events – setbacks, deadlines, conflicts & losses. Oddly enough it is during these times when people tend to let go of their physical world, yet during my darkest hours, physical activity was probably the only thing I had to hang onto, although quite often it was difficult to start an activity, I focused on how good I know I would feel upon completion – the power of endorphins, a natural high which no drug can compare.
One of the biggest factors that affect our quality of life and the ageing process is stress. In this modern age it is almost impossible to live a stress-free life.
Learning to change how you react to situations, learning relaxation techniques, learning to meditate and generally committing to a positive, open attitude to life can help keep you years younger, reducing your biological age.
Stress itself is not a negative thing. It is our response to stress which is negative. This gives us some control over the stress even if we cannot control the thing that causes stress. We can control our response to it, which is more important. Stress, can also be a good thing, it can drive us to accomplish feats we never Imagined possible. Remember it is not stress that directly harms us, but distress.
The power of choice and the degree to which we feel we have control over our lives in an increasingly uncertain world is the degree to which we have the ability to control stress and everything else in our lives, too. Unfortunately, not enough of us exercise our right to make a choice and take control of our lives.
Many of us (myself included in the past) take on a victim’s mentality when things do not go right for us and give up control by feeling helpless and oppressed, rather than changing our reaction through making a different choice on how we feel about what has occurred. If you do not have the confidence to accept that you have a choice and just let stress happen to you, by not taking the right action, your body will probably respond with anxiety, headaches, stomach ache, ulcers, depression, allergies and heart disease.
In response to a stressful situation our body produces ‘stress-hormones’- cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These set off a chain reaction resulting in higher levels of free radicals. Elevated levels of cortisol are also associated with acne, obesity, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, arthritis and many more.
How to beat Stress. . . .
You know I believe exercise is a fantastic way to beat stress but heres something else I recommend…
Meditation is one of the most powerful forms of stress relief, mind development and relaxation. With the aid of meditation, it has been proven that stress levels drop dramatically and assist in creating a more relaxed, less anxious, more centred and peaceful frame of mind.
There are many different forms of meditation, but no matter what type of meditation you practice or prefer, they all have the same goal – stillness of the mind. Meditation is not a state of sleep, it is a low-consciousness waking, in which the mind is calm, yet still. During successful meditative states, muscles relax, metabolism slows, breathing and heart rate are lowered and blood flow to the brain increases.
Daily meditation seems to have the long-term benefit of lowering anxiety, improving mental functioning and lowering your biological age.
When the relaxation response is engaged , the fight-or-flight response is shut off.