Feeling Stressed? Meditating Will Help

Do you know what one of the biggest causes of health problems is in today’s society? It’s not cancer or obesity; it’s stress. Feeling stressed can have such a huge impact on all aspects of our lives and meditation can help.

When we are stressed it can attack every major organ in the body. It can cause heart disease, auto-immune disease, sleep problems, weight problems, anxiety attacks and more.

So what is stress?

Put simply it’s a physical response to our situation.When we feel stress our body goes in to fight or flight mode because it feels as though it’s under attack.

It then releases a compound of chemicals and hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine to prepare our bodies for action.

This then leads to blood being diverted to our muscles and functions such as digestion. The body feels this is an unnecessary function and will shutdown to preserve energy. That’s why, when you feel stressed you don’t feel like eating or drinking.

But it’s how we manage our stress that makes the difference. Left unmanaged stress will spiral out of control. You’ll start to experience both physical and mental symptoms such as headaches, stomach upsets, anxiety and depression. And not to be too dramatic about it - stress kills.

So how can you really tell if you’re stressed?

Stress can creep up on your before you have a chance to really realise it. One of the best ways to keep on top of things is to do regular stress assessments.

You simply need to follow four simple steps:

Make a list. Write down everything that is on your mind and that you feel is causing you stress. Whether it’s work deadlines, money, chores etc. No matter how big or insignificant they may seem - add them to this list.

Make notes. Add notes next to each item on how a certain action could help. For instance could you take money out of your savings to pay off a credit card or could you cancel lunch with someone in order to finish a project. Just a quick note on how to resolve an issue, even if this moment in time it doesn’t seem practical will help.

Go down the elimination route. The best course of action is to eliminate the problems on this list. Getting rid of some of the items that can be cancelled or postponed will give you the time and space you need.

Make a promise to yourself to resolve the issues. For the items that cannot be eliminated make a promise to yourself to deal with them. Get the smaller tasks out of the way and start working on the bigger things. If you want to step out of the stress cycle then making sure that you solve the problems causing you the stress is the only way.

Stressed? One solution: Meditation.

Meditation is a way of transforming the mind. It’s a practice that allows your body to go in to a deep state of peace and develop concentration, clarity and emotional freedom.

And it doesn’t need to be a big deal or take up a lot of your time. Just two minutes a day can have a huge effect on how your brain works and how stress is handled by your body.

Meditation helps ease the pressures of life and reduce stress by helping you to take responsibly for your own mental state. It can help train the brain in how to respond to high pressure situations and also become aware of our own emotions.

As we are more connected than ever these days with smartphones and the internet continually on, it’s hard for the brain to take a break and relax. This is another cause of stress and why meditation can help you switch off and rest your brain which will leave you feeling happier and more positive and equipped to handle what’s causing your stress.

How to meditate.

Meditation is a personal and private practice. What may work for one person won’t always work for another. There are different ways in which you can meditate. Sit in a space that you feel comfortable in, with no technology or distractions around you and just concentrate on breathing and clearing your mind of any clutter.

You can also follow guided mediation where you can follow a trained practitioner who will walk you though  meditation and help you find peace. Do this in a class or visit youtube for a session and meditate in a surrounding that suits you.

What happens to your brain when you meditate?

Researchers from Harvard University discovered corresponding changes in the physical structure of the brain with a similar meditation course; evidence that meditation serves as a realistic and maintainable stress management technique.

Meditation will also help you focus more and feel less anxious.

Have you found meditation has helped you? Leave your comments below or tweet us at @PureandMe with your experiences.