A huge number of articles, research papers and pharmaceutical products are devoted to relieving stress. Maybe it's time to take a look at how we use stress to tell us if we are in harmony with our life. Obviously positive stress, such as a wild ride down a river rapids can be life enhancing. But most of us think of stress as a negative, something to be avoided or overcome.
Our lives are filled with constant information and opportunities for contrast or conflict. Politics, the economy, crime, health, relationships, money, work, and what to do with our leisure time all are potential stressors.
The thoughts passing through our mind may repeat until they start to erode the walls of our inner peace, much like a great river erodes the canyons. The faster the thoughts rush through the mind, the greater the stress on the body.
The “health industry" might prescribe a pill (which may have side effects) to reduce the erosion of health from the stressor, but does the pill solve the issue?
Temporarily yes. Like closing the dam, the water reduces and erosion slows. But the source is still there, backing up like a great lake behind the dam, and eventually it has to be released.
The floodtide of thoughts, neurotic worry, obsessive worry, or just the mental overload caused by what you are certain are valid, appropriate things to be thinking about starts to flow again. And as surely as the thoughts begin, tension is generated from associated emotions. Anger, frustration, pain, hate, jealously, belittlement, worry . . . all these emotions are outcomes of uncontrolled thoughts.
If you are looking for a permanent solution, one that you can count on without side effects, that has been tested for several thousand years, it is actually available at any moment for free. The practice of meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress (and increase your life span). Meditation also helps you gain a calming inner peace that carries with you long after you meditate.
Here's some tips on meditating . . .
- Give yourself 10 - 15 minutes when starting to meditate
- Focus your mind on a single peaceful thought, such as the petals of a flower
- Allow yourself to disconnect from the world while meditating
- Use deep long breaths
- Focus on the breath as if it were the ocean waves
Once you have developed the ability to focus on a peaceful thought for a few minutes, extend the time. As you train the mind to calm it's endless chatter, you will begin to feel the effects of peace on your body. Eventually you will notice the stress caused by the busy mind as a thermostat reminding you to cool it and meditate.
Christopher T. Hughes is the Co-Founder of Meditation DNA . He produces audio meditations that tune to specific chakras, planets, and elements in addition to using binaural beats. Chris continues releasing new mp3 downloads every month to assist the growing user base of his online meditation community. Download a free 20 minute meditation that is tuned to the root chakra.