Managing Your Stress With Mindfulness Meditation Techniques

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be about more than just yoga and meditation. There are so many related aspects to our health that I didn’t want to limit what I wrote about. This is why I’m bringing you this article I found on mindfulness meditation. Being a health care professional in my real life, I have come to realize that our society has become much too psychologically dependent on, and even expecting as part of their care, the “quick fix” for relief of problems. For instance, the emphasis on using medications instead of instructing people on how to use beneficial non-medication techniques that have been available for centuries to many cultures. Mindfulness meditation is one such very powerful approach to managing stress in our daily lives that is both free and readily available without a prescription.

Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. at the Huffington Post brings to us very simple and profoundly useful mindfulness meditation strategies to allow us to remain in the moment, even when circumstances at that moment are challenging and might otherwise bring out our worst emotional selves.

Managing Your Stress With Mindfulness Meditation Techniques

Now, a certain level of stress can be beneficial, but the key is to know when you have reached that magical threshold, which is different for each individual. People who are able to let things roll of their back can generally handle more stress than those who are sensitive. One indication that you are maxed out is when your body starts to break down and you develop chronic illnesses such as gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, chronic worry or immune-related disorders. Working primarily in the entertainment industry, I know that many of my patients thrive on a certain amount of stress. It gives them drive, vitality, purpose and stimulates their creative juices. The challenge is to help them find a healthy balance without always or immediately resorting to medication. With their hectic lives, they don’t have the time to mediate for hours sitting in a lotus position, so I work with them on techniques that I call “Meditation in Action.”

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation techniques help to bring emotional stability and are a viable alternative to medications for treating daily anxiety. Photo: Robert Tafoya c/o Photos.com

Meditation in Action is at its core learning to take a mindful or sacred pause and self regulate the “fight or flight” aspect of your nervous system, which can effect positive changes in the neuronal pathways to the amygdala, the walnut-sized area in the center of the brain responsible for regulating emotions. When the amygdala is relaxed, the parasympathetic nervous system engages to counteract the anxiety response. Instead, it activates what we call the relaxation or healing response, when the heart rate lowers, breathing deepens and slows, and the body stops releasing cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream; these stress hormones provide us with quick energy in times of danger but have damaging effects on the body in the long term if they’re too prevalent. In mindfulness you learn to slow down and to take your body’s pulse. Even though mindfulness originated in an Eastern culture, it is a standalone practice that is not associated with any religion or spirituality.

Read the rest of the article.

 

Mindfulness meditation can bring about a state of what Dr. Alexander refers to as ‘mindstrength’ which gives you the ability to both experience the emotions you are feeling while at the same time retaining the knowledge that they will soon pass.

Please leave your thoughts and opinions on this. I’d expect there might be some rather strong opinions on both sides.

The first recipe of happiness- avoid too lengthy meditations on the past.
                                                                                – Andre Maurois

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