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I know that many of you will be thinking what will meditation do for me, why is it so important and of course ‘I don’t have time to sit around trying to clear my head, I’m busy’. Well let’s be honest here, do you suffer from stress, now think about this a little more, because the answer is yes and if you’re not sure about that read on and think a little more…and don’t forget to check out my recommendation for easy stress relief.
Why Are We All Stressed?
With modern day living comes the hectic and ever demanding pace of live, it’s no wonder that many of us feel stressed and overworked and how many of us take this home with us, how many others feel the impact of the stress we feel?
Our stress and tiredness of everyday life lead us to the feelings of unhappiness, frustration and a lack of patience when it comes to dealing with even the most simple every day routines. Not to mention the impact that all this has on our health, the tiredness that we feel, the ever nagging inner voice reminding us that we need to do this and that and the other. Or the demands of our boss, our clients, our family and friends all add up to making life one big stress ball.
‘I’m stressed out’, ‘work is one big stress’, ‘I’m under too much stress’, ‘the kids are stressing me out’, these are all phrases that we are all too familiar with and it is also an acceptable part of every day life.
How Do I Define My Stress?
Stress is hard to define as it means different things to different people; however, one thing that is perfectly clear to all of us is that stress is a negative emotion, negative energy as opposed to positive.
Stress can be both physical and mental. Physical stress could be the result of a lack of sleep, or a poor diet and even an effect of an illness. Mental stress can be worrying about money, or how you’re going to survive retirement, or from experiencing a devastatingly emotional event such as the death of a family member, or being fired from work.
Our Natural Stress Response System
But did you know that much of our stress comes from less dramatic everyday routines. Obligations and pressures which are both physical and mental are not always that obvious to us and in response to these daily strains our body automatically invokes a stress response which floods your body with chemicals which increases your blood pressure, your heart rate, the blood flow to your muscles, your metabolism and your respiration. All of these responses are natural reactions so that our bodies are ready to react quickly and effectively under high pressure situations, termed fight or flight. Now whilst a stress response is useful in true emergency situations when you need to be on alert, it can considerably wear your body down when constantly active.
We are all continuously reacting to stressful situations, which is termed stress response, but without making adjustments in our lives to counter the effects. Stress can cause physical, emotional and behavioral disorders which affect our health, vitality and peace of mind; and of course it also affects our personal and professional relationships. Stress is also the key cause to many minor illnesses such as insomnia, headaches and backaches on top of the life threatening diseases such as high blood pressure and even heard disease.
It is also very true that every person handles stress differently, take for example a major life decision like changing careers, or moving house. I know some of you are cringing at the thought, but I also know that some of you would relish the thought. Whatever may be overwhelming to some people might actually be seen as a welcome change to others. An even simpler example is sitting in traffic, some people find this too much to tolerate tooting their horns and screaming out for more coffee, whilst others just take it in their stride maybe with the help of a little music, or a happy thought.
So what’s the answer? Well, aside from the inexhaustible amount of drugs available to reduce stress, which include free side effects I may add, there’s one very simple and natural way to reduce stress that takes 10 to 20 minutes of your day and has no side effects, meditation.
Our Natural Relaxation Response System
Earlier I mentioned that the secret to reducing your stress is by making adjustments in your life to counter the effects of stress, well this is done by evoking a relaxation response within you.
A relaxation response is a state of deep rest that is the opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response brings your body back into balance by deepening your breathing, reducing the stress chemicals in your body, slowing down your heart rate and relaxing your muscles. It also increases your energy, improves your focus, relieves headaches and other aches and pains, heightens your problem solving skills and boosts motivation and productivity and the best news is that with a little practice anyone can gain from these benefits.
As many of you out there are new to meditation and I am certain that there are also many of you who don’t want to get into depth of how to meditate or what form of meditation to use and want a quick head start, I would recommend you begin with an affordable audio meditation, check out morphogeneticmeditation for links to free audio’s to get you started.
also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Best of all – with a little practice – anyone can reap these benefits.
Remember, each person handles stress differently. Some people actually seek out situations which may appear stressful to others. A major life decision, such as changing careers or buying a house, might be overwhelming for some people, while others may welcome the change. Some find sitting in traffic too much to tolerate, while others take it in stride. The key is determining your personal tolerance levels for stressful situations. Stress can cause physical, emotional and behavioral disorders which can affect your health, vitality, peace-of-mind, as well as personal and professional relationships. Too much stress can cause relatively minor illnesses like insomnia, backaches, or headaches, and can contribute to potentially life-threatening diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Stress can also be mental: when you worry about money, a loved one’s illness, retirement, or experience an emotionally devastating event, such as the death of a spouse or being fired from work. However, much of our stress comes from less dramatic everyday responsibilities. Obligations and pressures which are both physical and mental are not always obvious to us. In response to these daily strains your body automatically increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to you muscles. This response, is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to a high-pressure situation.
With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.
Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation.
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