We all experience stress in some form every day. It may to due to any unpleasant news, a heavy workload, rush-hour traffic, relationship problems or anything. Stress and anxiety affect us when we feel we can’t handle the situation. Stress shrinks our ability to think clearly and function effectively. In today’s competitive world, stress is the most common thing to occur in an individual’s life.
Ego, Inferiority or Superiority complex, complain about everything, dissatisfied with what we have with us, and comparing ourselves with others are some of the emotional factors which led us to anxiety and stress.
A Check on our stress level
If stress goes unchecked, it can affect our efficiency, productivity and even affect our physical health. Untreated stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure or even depression. Here comes the importance of a health diary. We can keep a record of what caused us stress, our stress levels, how we reacted to each situation, how we handled the situation, etc.
Regularly analyzing our health diary can help us understand how to manage it. Looking at the diary, we should get a clear picture of the source of our stress, and also the level of pressure at which we are happiest.
Ways to Manage your Stress
Managing stress is all about how you deal with your thoughts, emotions, and problems.
Some healthy techniques that can help reduce our stress level are as below:
- Meditation: First and foremost the best technique is to practice meditation. Mindful meditation can help our mind as well as body to relax and get focused. Meditation allows an individual to attain a state of mental calmness and awareness. It also imparts stability.
- Exercise: It helps our mind as well as body. Even a 20-minute walk can give an immediate effect of reducing our stress. It not only enhances body structure but also effects overall health.
- Smile and Laugh:Laughs or smiles can not only help lessen our tension also help in improving the situation. Being in a happy mood affects the overall health of an individual.
- Engage in your ‘Me time’: Doing your favorite hobby can make your mind relaxed and happy. In this fast-paced life of today, being able to spend some time with ourselves is always a big deal. But then being able to do so is also very much essential. Investing time in cultivating a hobby is also pretty effective in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Now let us focus on the importance of meditation in our everyday life.
How Meditation Helps Us
A mind without perturbation is meditation. It is a simple technique that if practiced regularly can help you control your emotion, stress, decrease anxiety and improve your health.
When we are exposed to sudden stress, we sometimes respond with a ‘fight or flight’ response, i.e., either we became angry, or we get withdrawn from the situation. This can be lifesaving in emergency situations, but in our day to day life it makes us more stressed and keeps us down. A meditation technique called ‘relaxation response’ puts mind to be in a stress-free state.
When we get stressed a hormone called ‘adrenaline’ is released unnecessarily from our body for ‘fight or flight’ response. This, in turn, results in an increased heartbeat, increased blood pressure, faster breathing and increased blood flow. Mindfulness or Mindful Meditation is a new meditation technique which slows down all these actions when we are stressed.
Mindfulness is the capability to be in the present. Be aware of what we are doing and where we are and not over-reactive or disturbed by what’s going on around us. When we are mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance and also increase our attention to others. This makes us less complaint, less judged, and with a relaxed mind.
Anyone regardless of age or ability can practice mindfulness. It keeps our mind to stay at present and calm. It can change the physical structure of the brain and removes all negative thoughts and keeps us happy always.
Mindfulness focuses on the three main concepts; they are as follows:
- Awareness: It focuses on developing awareness. This can include being aware of your own breath, your body or anything outside. Mentaland physical awareness is very much essential in an individual’s life.
- Non-judgment: Mindfulness is about experiencing everything without judgment or criticism.
- Helps build Peace and Patience: A peaceful, relaxed mind is the end result of the meditation. Meditation not only brings about a sense of mental and physical calmness but also of stability.
How to do Mindful Meditation
- Select a quite calm place
- Determine a specific time of a day
- Sit on a comfortable position
- Keep your Spine erect and rest hands in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes
- Relax your mind
- Feel your breath; say I ‘follow’ it as it goes out and goes in. Feel the air going through your nose. Repeat the process.
- Your mind may wander constantly. It’s normal. Let thoughts come and go, don’t judge your thoughts. But focus on your breath each time you do it.
- Keep doing it. You will definitely acquire the result.
We cannot avoid all sources of stress, but we can control the way we react to these situations. We can also work towards managing the jobs that create stress in our lives, so as to be able to manage stress.
Meditation helps reduce anxiety, pain, and addictions. Studies show that meditation increases the activity of our disease-fighting genes and thus strengthens our immune system.
Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Just this understanding and a few days of continuous practice of meditation can change the quality of life. Our body is aging, but something in us, ‘our mind’ is not aging. Getting in touch with that ‘something’ in you that doesn’t age brings beauty in our life. That is meditation.