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Stress is the number one killer in our society today. Stress can have a huge negative effect on the body to the point of death. The reason for this is due to the high amounts of the hormone Cortisol that is created in the body when someone is stressed to the point which leads to anxiety and depression. Scary? It sure is.
But stress, when managed properly, can also play a positive role in a person's life. Let me explain.
Stress releases the hormone Cortisol. This hormone has two levels - Acute and Chronic.
When an individual is going through Acute stress this creates the 'fight or flight' reaction. This is short lived and can lead to peak performance in an individual. For example, the individual may gain motivation when under a stressful situation. This will spur them into action and therefore give them the fuel they need to complete a task or achieve a goal or life change. So this type of stress can be good for them.
On the other hand, when an individual is going through Chronic stress, this is when things can get dangerous health-wise for them. The level of Cortisol increases which can have a negative effect on the brain and their immune system. This often leads to brain fog, lack of focus, unable to make decisions, anxiety and depression and eventually, if the chronic stress is not decreased, it can lead to a life-threatening illness like heart disease or cancer.
So how does one live a 'stress-free life'?
I'll admit, stress can come and go in our lives forever, you will never completely eliminate it. But it is how we manage that stress that's what makes the difference. How you manage your stress level can and will change the effect it has on your life that even if you are going through some stress at any given time, it will feel like you are living a 'stress-free life' due to your ability to control it. Your aim is to keep all stress at the Acute level. You want to be motivated in life. You want to be able to achieve your goals and be happy and healthy at the same time.
How Do You Do It?
Well there are various methods that you can try but here are just a few random ideas, before we delve deeper:
Go for a 10-minute walk – walking helps clear your head and boosts endorphins.
Buy yourself a plant – having plants near you can relax you & are great air purifiers.
Take regular breaks from the computer and all electronic devices – long periods on electronic devices can increase stress and affect sleeping patterns.
Breathing exercises – reduces tension and relieves stress due to the extra boost of oxygen and can reduce high blood pressure.
Try a Naam Yoga hand trick – Applying pressure between the 2nd and 3rd knuckle (the base of your pointer and middle finger) can help create a sense of calm, as it activates a nerve that loosens the area around your heart, which helps when you are feeling nervous.
Other things you can do – listen to ‘feel good’ music, watch a film/video that makes you laugh/switch off your phone for a while/yoga/ exercise & meditation.
Meditation is a great tool for helping you release stress effectively and get better equipped to handle the curveballs life can often throw your way.
As I mentioned in one of the techniques that you could try, breathing exercises are a huge part of meditation. This is why it is so effective in eliminating the negative effects of stress. The whole aspect of meditation is about being present in the moment. It is about taking your focus off the situation and connecting to your breath to bring the Cortisol level down and to create a calm essence within.
By focusing on your breathing and closing your eyes and connecting to your breath, your breath begins to slow all external thoughts down. Practising slow deep inhaling breaths and long exhaling breaths can do wonders for your immune system and slows all thoughts down so that you are able to let go and focus within. This is the key to meditation success and controlling stress.
When stressed the aim is to get 'solution-focused'. The only way to achieve this is by giving the brain the space to release and create space for solutions. This is why many who practice meditation often have great clarity.
Studies Have Shown That Meditation Also:
- Reduces stress
- Increases creativity and intelligence
- Improves memory & learning ability
- Increases energy
- Increases inner calm
- Reduces insomnia
- Increases happiness and self-esteem
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Improves relationships
- Improves health
- Promotes a younger biological age.
Imagine being able to control stress so it doesn't get the better of your life and having all these added benefits on top. Awesome right?
So are you ready to take Chronic stress down and reclaim your life back? Your health matters. Your life matters. You matter.
Meditation and just slowing down the stress levels with the power of your breath can have a huge positive impact on your life. Something so simple as breathing could really save your life.