Chronic Stress and Mindfulness Meditation – Part 1
Stress is our body’s natural way of responding to any kind of demand or treat and it can impact our lives in many ways, and often is described as a feeling of being overwhelmed and upset about actual or potential problems.
While stress can be a life-saving tool and prepare us to deal with difficult situations, when the total amount of stress we are experimenting is constant it may exceed our ability to cope with it. That’s when stress may cause great damage on our health, instead of being a protective mechanism to ourselves.
Chronic stress can occur in response to modern life stressors that are ignored or poorly managed as traffic, noise, electronics, bills, daily problems, inflammatory foods, pollution, toxins, chronic illness, relationship problems, to name a few.
In order to reduce chronic stress, and prevent or improve our health status, lifestyle changes are really necessary.
Then, finding time to take a good care of ourselves is something extremely important, if not crucial.
There are a great number of clinically proven ways to manage stress, as mindfulness, exercising, dancing, walking in nature,breathing techniques, social connections, vacation, etc.
Today let’s talk about some of the benefits of MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
“The basic concept of mindfulness is to learn to be focused, “awake”, and fully “alive” to the present moment.”
Mindfulness teaches us to face the present moment with interest and without judgment in order to be able to accept what has happened and learn that we cannot change what has happened.
Once we accept the circumstances of the moment, we can make a good decision. We can decide to let go and move ahead to the next moment, to accept or to alter our reactions (thoughts and emotions) to what has occurred, or to act to change our situation.
The Mindfulness philosophy is that everything is transient and changing, our mood, our thoughts, our relationships, our family, our financial or work situation.”
Stress relief might be one of the most studied benefit of Mindfulness meditation but, also has been found to help reduce drug addiction, relieve anxiety and boost immunity.
Here are some Scientifically proven benefits of Mindfulness:
. It is a brain exercise that helps us regulate our mind;
. Awake us for life, to be present;
. Helps focusing on what is essential;
. Enhance concentration and focus - the benefits becomes wider and stronger with time;
. Helps became less reactive and also recover faster when getting upset:
. Helps to became more kind and compassionate:
. Meditating regularly reconfigures our brain and changes brain activity;
. With time meditators become less reactive, listen better, have space between their thoughts and emotions, or, manage better impulses.
Mindfulness Meditation also:
. Works as well as medication for anxiety, depression, and possible PTSD;
. Does not will end disease but, helps change the way we experiment that;
. May decrease acute respiratory infection;
. Reduce or down regulate many inflammatory genes;
. Reduces menopausal symptoms;
. Helps reduce drug addiction;
. Reduces anxiety;
. Boosts immunity.
If you are a busy person and feel that you are going to be stressing yourself even more finding 20 minutes to be meditating then, start slow.
How about 3 minutes a day?
There is a lot we still don't know about mindfulness however, I am sure that when you give yourself a try and feel its benefits even in a three minutes practice, meditation is going to be part of your daily routine.
Here are two great free resources for you to be starting your practice today:
Insight timer – Meditation App
Free Mindfulness Meditation online