How to Relieve Stress and why with meditation.
Stress is a condition that plagues all of us. It’s an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing. The reality is that because stress is inescapable, it’s all about how you deal with it. Your reaction to stress and the actions you implement to reduce its influence on your life will make a huge difference on your overall health and mood.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the main sources of stress stem from money and work. With family responsibilities coming in as the third most common stressor. After this follows personal health concerns, health problems affecting the family, and the economy. As you can see, there are a variety of reasons that stress might build up in our minds. But a lot of people don’t realise that this also affects our body’s. Once you work out the best methods to tackle stress, you’ll feel an incredible difference throughout your mental outlook on life and physical wellbeing.
But how exactly do we relieve stress?
Just as there are a variety of reasons stress might occur, there are also a variety of actions to battle this stress.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America list physical exercise as one of the best ways to combat stress. “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.” As there’s such a strong link between physical and mental stressors. Removing or improving one of these areas has a significant carry over to the other. So, if you can make your body feel better, then your brain should follow suit.
Make sure that the exercise is something that you enjoy. If you’re just getting started with regular physical activity. Then find something you actually like doing, will mean you can be more consistent whilst having a stronger carry over to the brain. Long walks, jogging, spin classes, strength training, football, basketball, cycling – anything that increases your heart rate is a good idea.
Meditation like stress
The other well-known stress reliever is meditation. Meditation has now been proven to physically rewire the brain to make it healthier and better suited for handling stressful situations. A 2011 study led by Harvard found that eight weeks of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) increased the size of the hippocampus. The area of the brain responsible for learning and memory, as well as positively affecting areas of the brain involved with emotion. Then a 2014 study looked at the relationship between meditation programs and psychological stress. Finding that regular meditation practice can help reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. In fact, they it was found to be as effective as anti-depressants.
So, if you’re at your wits end and you’re close to pulling your hair out. Then look no further than a regular dose of meditation and exercise. You’ll be surprised at how dramatic the effects of these two additions to your lifestyle can be.