How To Defend
Do you ever
find yourself feeling overwhelmed? Do you sometimes feel like you just have too
much to think about? Does it make you tired, irritable, or even depressed? What
can you do about it?
go to the doctor to say "I think I have stress," and yet the National
Institutes of Health say that 80% of illnesses are caused by stress, directly
or indirectly. Hormones, such as adrenalin, are released into your blood when
you're stressed. This causes a rise in blood pressure, a faster heart and
breathing rate, and faster conversion of glycogen into glucose. These are good
things if you need to escape a charging grizzly bear, but when these effects
are prolonged, the immune system is depressed, and your body suffers other negative
of prolonged stress include fatigue, pain in the muscles and joints, headache,
mental confusion, depression, anxiety, and irritability. Stress reactions cause
your body to use too much energy, which can result in physical and mental
Stress With Meditation
Years ago at Stanford University, an analysis of 146 meditation studies was done. The conclusion was
that meditation not only was beneficial at the time of practice, but that it
significantly reduced anxiety as a character trait. The studies focused on
transcendental meditation, but it's probable most methods have similar results.
(Reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957&SHY;974, 1989.)
line is that stress is a killer, and that meditation really can help you defend
yourself. Traditional meditation may have the most beneficial effects, but
maybe you're short on time, or uncertain about learning to meditate. In that
case, there are two simple techniques you can learn in a few minutes, and start
The first is a
breathing meditation. Close your eyes, let the tension drain from your muscles,
let go of your thoughts (to the extent possible), and breath deeply through
your nose, paying attention to your breath. As thoughts or sensations arise,
just acknowledge them and return your attention to your breath as it goes in
and out. Do this for five or ten minutes.
To use the
second technique, stop whatever you're doing when you feel stressed, and take
three deep breaths. Watch yourself until you identify what is bothering you.
Are you worried about something? Is there a letter you need to write? Maybe
your neck is sore. Note everything you find.
Now deal with
these stressors. Write the letter that's on your mind, take an aspirin, put
things on tomorrow's list. If the best you can do is recognize there's nothing
you can do right now - then do that. With practice, you'll get better at
finding what's just below the surface of consciousness, irritating you. After
you address these things, close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and you'll
feel more relaxed and able to think clearly. Try it now.
Author Bio :
Steve Gillman has meditated and studied meditation for over twenty years. You can visit his
website, and subscribe to The Meditation Newsletter at: http://www.TheMeditationSite.com/newsletter.html