Quick tip: Meditation can help with stress in a number of ways including - reversing the effects of the stress response; releasing neurotransmitters that enhance focus and inner calm; promoting relaxation and restful sleep; changing your brain’s stress patterns; and, connecting you to your true self.
Well, stress is a normal part of life. It is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. You get stuck in traffic. You’re preparing to go for a life-changing interview. You get your dream job and are preparing for the first day at work.
All of these activities can trigger the stress response.
While most people assume stress comes only from unpleasant occurrences, positive experiences such as; preparing for your wedding, adjusting to the new requirements of a promotion at work, or even going on vacation [think jet lag] -- can trigger the fight-or-flight response.
When you’re in stress mode, hormones like cortisol and adrenalin surge through your body, leading to increased heart rate and blood sugar -- as well as a suppressed immune system.
Prolonged stress also leads to increased inflammation and could put you at a higher risk of health issues such as migraine headaches, diabetes, depression, obesity, etc.
So, now that you know what stress is and what it can do to your body if left unchecked, here are 5 ways meditation can help deal with stress:
#1: Reverses the effects of the stress response
Most times when you’re stressed, you go from silence to activity. But during meditation, your racing thoughts give way to a state of restful alertness.
But, even though you’re in a state of calm, your mind is fully awake and alert. This restful state leads to reduced heart rate, decreased inflammation in the body, and a boost in immune function – which are the exact opposite of the stress response.
#2: Increases the body’s neurotransmitters of well-being
OK so, the stress response triggers hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin that increase your stress levels.
But meditation triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine [the pleasure hormone], serotonin [the happy hormone], and endorphins [the exhilaration or runner’s high hormone].
#3: Improves focus and attention
Stress sometimes is the result of trying to multitask [aka doing too many things at the same time].
So, meditation helps you train your brain to focus on one task at a time rather than letting your attention be pulled in many different directions at the same time.
#4: Changes your brain’s stress patterns
Researchers have found that meditation can change the brain’s structure, reducing habitual stress patterns, and promoting calm.
Meditation has also been shown to promote growth in the brain areas associated with memory, learning, self-awareness, etc.
#5: Promotes relaxation and restful sleep
Stress in controlled amounts is a good thing, as it’s even necessary for some bodily function and well-being. But prolonged periods of stress can lead to all kinds of health issues including insomnia...and you don’t want that.
Scientists have found that meditation is a super effective therapy for insomnia, helping you get the restful sleep vital to your health and happiness.
Well, that’s it guys -- but before you go…