Meditation Articles Series

Feeling Stressed?

If you’re feeling stressed could you acknowledge that underlying stress is fear?  Could you face your fears?  To do that requires change in yourself.  Sometimes it seems easier to stay, for example, in a job, or relationship that is not correct for you.  Fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying.  This doesn’t stop the stress.  While we put up with, deny or pretend that things are okay hormones are being secreted in our bodies such as cortisol and adrenaline.  The over production of these chemicals over time will affect us physically.  A part of our brain that affects the functioning of the mind will go into self preservation and survival mode so that we no longer think with clarity, or can focus or concentrate easily. 

In time our physical bodies will break down.  We are only resilient for so long.  If you have any of the following symptoms, at some level you will be storing fear in your body.  The symptoms are:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease and strokes
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation or diarrhoea
  • Obesity
  • Weakened immune system
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • High glucose and high cholesterol
  • Arthritis and other inflammatory problems
  • Infertility and sexual dysfunction
  • Memory loss, and lack of focus and concentration
  • Increased risk for osteoporosis

What can you do?

Taking up a meditation practice will certainly help you.  There is too much evidence now to discredit the benefits of meditation.  However, as you go about your day, here are some suggestions that will encourage you to let go your stress ( fear ), and help you to stay in present moment awareness.

At the first signal of discomfort such as physical muscular tension, or mental agitation, STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING, and check how you are breathing.  You may have even stopped breathing!  This may be going on all day.  You may not even be aware that you are often holding  the breath.  Now take some deep breaths, breathing the breath all the way down into your belly, and as you breathe out, breathe out until your lungs are quite empty of air.  Feel the air pushing out your belly as you breathe in.  Feel the air leaving your lungs until you have to breathe in again.  This simple breathing will ground you, and bring you back in touch with your body, and most of all reduce your fear.  Take time throughout your day to come back to breath awareness by taking a few deep and clearing breaths each time you feel the slightest tinge of discomfort.

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