• How Mindfulness Meditation Helps To Reduce Stress

      1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

      Stress is your body's way of reacting to a threat. When your body is stressed, your hypothalamus signals your adrenal glands located atop your kidneys to release a surge of hormones which include adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. As these hormones are released, the liver is triggered to produce more blood sugar which gives you an energy kick and breathing becomes more rapid and heartbeat and blood pressure rise. If you are battling with stress, you may have experienced some or all of the following symptoms:

      – Difficulty Sleeping or Insomnia
      – Regular Headaches
      – Anxiousness or Feeling Worried a Lot of the Time
      – Lacking Motivation and/or Feeling Flat
      – A Scatty or Racing Mind
      – Feeling Wound-Up or Restless, or Tired and Exhausted
      – Critical of Oneself or Others
      – Difficulty Paying Attention or Focusing
      – Sweating Excessively or Skin Changes, Such as a Rash
      – Irritability
      – Muscle Tension and/or Jaw Clenching

      If the stress is caused by physical danger, these chemicals can be beneficial as they give you more energy and strength; it speeds up your reaction time and also enhances your focus. But if the stress is caused by something emotional, it can be harmful because there's no outlet for this extra energy and strength. Once the source of stress has passed, hormone levels return to normal as do heart rate and blood pressure and other systems will also return to normal.

      Recent stress statistics show that the top 7 causes of stress in the U.S include:

      1. Job Pressure;
      2. Money;
      3. Health;
      4. Relationships;
      5. Poor Nutrition;
      6. Media Overload; and
      7. Sleep Deprivation.

      All of these are the emotional kind, not the physical danger that can be beneficial. Other statistics show 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress 54 per cent of people say stress has caused them to fight with people close to them and 30 per cent of people say they're always or often under stress at work.

      So how does all of this stress affect their bodies? Long-term activation of the stress response system can cause major problems including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain and memory and concentration impairment. Hence, it is vital to learn how to deal with stressors in your life.

      Mindfulness Meditation

      What if in just five minutes a day you could alter how you handle stress in a meaningful way? If you think meditation is not for you, today we will make you think again with a 5-minute meditation.

      Inspired by the ancient Buddhist practice of meditation, American doctors in the 1970s developed a secular version of meditation to combat stress called mindfulness meditation. The guiding principle is to learn to live in the moment, training your brain to stop focusing on past traumas or future stresses. The technique is simple, taking a few minutes each day to concentrate on the breathe and observe the sensations that arise in the body. Meditators call this technique as the mental body scan.

      Practitioners claim mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety and now researches are backing them up. A new study reveals meditation can actually moderate your body’s production of cortisol so you feel stress under pressure while other studies show more tangible health benefits such as lower blood pressure and help with pain control.

      Benefits Of Mindfulness Meditation

      Practising mindfulness meditation regularly help develop a strong awareness of our thoughts, bringing our complete attention to the present moment before us. In a way, this guides us to reduce our tendencies to be more reactive to the situation. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the significant benefits of mindfulness meditation for individuals suffering from stress.

      1. Mindfulness Meditation Helps Us Live in the Moment
      People who suffer from stress have an unabating inclination to think of past traumas or problems that may occur in the future. Engaging in mindfulness meditation can train our minds to be more present in our day-to-day activities and it helps us to be more in control of our thought patterns in a more positive manner.

      2. Decreased Rumination
      Stress causes our brain to go over things that already happened in the past and even of the things that might happen in the future, also known as rumination. Mindfulness meditation helps regulate our brain activity to focus on what’s happening at the moment and helps in putting aside less important matters that may only cause unpleasant thoughts. By engaging to be more present at the moment, we are less likely to worry about things or situation that has not occurred in the past or even in the future.

      3. Reduced Emotional Reactivity And Increased Ability To Adapt
      Stressing events in life has different effects on people who suffer from it. More often than not, people with stress emotionally react to an uncomfortable situation before thinking through the possible repercussions of their actions, leading to a much bigger problem.

      The ability to detach oneself from a distressing situation can be attained by practising mindfulness meditation. The technique is an effective way to make us stop and think very carefully the actions to take when involved in a heated argument. The meditation is proven to be very effective in allowing oneself to be more focus and logical of the words as well as acts to take in order to resolve any conflict.

      4. Reduces Amygdala Activity And Cortisol Levels
      Regular meditation practice reduces activity in the part of the brain that prompts for the activation of our stress response which is referred to as the amygdala. Studies have shown that individuals who practice mindfulness meditation consistently are understood to produce lower cortisol level ― a steroid hormone released in situations of stress.

      5. Increased Serotonin Levels
      Serotonin is a powerful neurotransmitter that plays a major role in mood regulation. Experts have found that a deficiency of serotonin is associated with depression. Some studies have shown that meditators have higher serotonin levels after they meditated and it boosts their mood even more.

      Practising mindfulness meditation regularly can help develop a heightened awareness of our thoughts, and can thereby reduce the need to react to them quickly and with force. Some things you can do to manage stress include getting regular exercise which can act as a distraction and causes the release of endorphins that can help boost your mood.

      Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables which provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can also help maintain proper bodily functions while cutting down on caffeine, sugar, energy drinks and alcohol at the same time. It is also imperative to make a consistent time in your schedule for relaxation and fun such as going to yoga class, listening to music, taking a walk or working in your garden.

      However, there are some cases when mindfulness meditation and reaching out to friends and family can no longer suffice and the assistance of an expert is highly required. In order to satisfactorily recuperate from stress and be able to handle the distressing situation properly in the future, it is very important to seek professional help that can help you manage day-to-day stress.

      There are several professional experts, such as Brain Wellness Spa , that could assist you with the best treatment options for your condition. If you are having a tough time handling and managing your stress and it’s already affecting both your physical and mental health, it might be time to go speak to a professional because a lot of times we don't have the tools in order to help ourselves alone.
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