Here's how meditation can do wonders in relieving stress
Chronic stress can lead to various physical and mental health problems if it goes untreated. Meditation is an amazing way to reduce stress by increasing awareness of self and real surroundings.
Many of us are living in a constant state of stress, to the extent that we get used to it and at times do not realise that it is not a normal state to be in. Stress in itself is not a negative term and it helps us guard ourselves from real danger. In fact, moderate stress helps us become more productive and improves our attention span and memory.
When stress becomes a habit, it acquires the form of chronic stress which is a prolonged and constant feeling of stress which could manifest in various physical and mental health problems if goes untreated. It can happen due to all the pressure and stressful situations we face every day or due to some traumatic situation.
So, it's important to manage stress, just like you manage your tasks for the day from laundry, cooking, to office work. Meditation is something which can be extremely helpful as it helps settle distrubing thoughts and creates space to think calmly. A regular meditation practice can help you go about your day in a less stressful way and improve your overall productivity.
Tim Gray, health optimising biohacker, psychology specialist, entrepreneur and global speaker in a post on his Instagram handle explains how stress can play havoc with our body and mind. He also suggests 10-minutes meditation every day to tame stress.
"Stress is supposed to help us. For example, we see a lion, we get stressed, blood diverts away from less urgent functions like digestion, immune & flows to your muscles so you can run. Phew! We’re safe! The problem is, we’re living in a constant state of stress and our bodies can’t tell the difference, so it doesn’t think we’re safe for long periods of time," he writes.
"Is my child safe at school? Can I pay the bills? Will I catch a “cold” from my neighbours? These are all stressors and impact us in different ways," he adds.
He says while we can’t all leave our job or remove the stressors, meditation can help reduce stress.
Benefits of meditation according to Gray:
* Controls anxiety
* Can improve positive feelings and kindness
* Improves sleep
* Improves digestive health
* Known to decrease blood pressure
Gray says our unconscious mind makes our organs work and controls our digestion process and the way our heart pumps while we don’t consciously think about it.
"When we have a busy life or are stressed our bodies produce too much cortisol, which becomes harmful, as your body thinks it needs to constantly run away from a threat. This means multiple bodily functions gets reprioritised so that your muscles can run from threats that can harm us," says the psychology specialist.
Comparing the mind with web broswer, Gray says closing some tabs can help run computer smoothly.
"Part of meditating is to increase a clear awareness of yourself and your real surroundings which reduces stress. Think of your mind like a web browser. If you have too many tabs open, your computer slows down. Close some tabs, and the computer runs smoothly again. Humans are similar. Too many thoughts and external stimulus means that our body can’t run proper. We weren’t designed to be constantly stimulated by thousands of notifications, cars speeding past us, bills to pay etc," he says.
There is a reason why we get some of the best ideas or remember things when in the shower.
"When I started meditating I realised how much space my mind had to stop and resolve issues in my life and my health improved so much as a result. 10 minutes a day works wonders," concludes Gray.