Causes of Stress
Normally, any life threatening situation triggers off the STRESS RESPONSE. This response enables a person to act quickly and survive intense, short- term challenges, which require less rational thinking and fast reflexes. This is possibly the survival response inherited from our pre-civilization days. But today’ stressful response is triggered with many petty problems, our body ends up preparing for a survival situation. And then as these situations don’t come to an end, with a single confrontation, we remain in a perpetual state of stress. Stress is nothing more and nothing less than unbearable load to our mind an unwanted and unwelcome burden that the mind has not been used to cope with, and keep struggling to get rid of. Simply put, stress is a physiological cum psychological response to an environmental framework or situation that the person was not expecting.
What happens to our body during stress ?
During stress, the heart beats faster and blood pressure rises. The blood flow is diverted from the internal organs to the muscles as well as the areas of the brain that control muscle coordination. As a result, the brain releases chemicals that help the body cope better with injuries, including those that block pain and help the blood clot faster. All these symptoms lead to the feeling of being run down, tired and basically stressed.
How yoga meditation helps to bust stress ?
Meditation comes to the rescue in such a situation and induces ‘RELAXATION RESPONSE’. Dr Benson (used to work at Harvard Medical School), did a research of physiological effects of meditation, found that there was a counter-balancing mechanism to the fight-or-flight response in most stress-inducing situations. As stress is induced by stimulation of the- hypothalamus of the brain Relaxation can be achieved by countering this stimulation – by stimulating other areas of the brain. This is achieved by doing meditation, which leads to state of deep rest.
Yoga meditation has been proved scientifically to combat stress and stress related disorders like high blood pressure, insomnia and heart diseases. Meditation calms the mind and reduces stress. Scientific research has confirmed that meditation makes people happier and more productive at work and helps to get along better with others. Meditation reduces stress and improves health. A stillness and silence is experienced in meditation which induces increased happiness and diminished stress.
Stress relating benefits of meditation:
- Decreases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline.
- Decreases hypertension.
- Lowers blood pressure where it remains high or average.
- Lowers cholesterol level when it is high.
- With improved breathing techniques and deep breathing during meditation, the oxygen circulation all over the body is more efficient, giving a calming feeling.
- A landmark study by Massachusetts general hospital found that within weeks of starting regular meditation, people felt calmer. Laboratory tests confirmed that the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy and stress management, showed a remarkable change towards betterment.
- A priceless benefit of yoga is restful sleep.
- Meditation is the art of silencing the mind. When the mind is silent, concentration is deep. With adequate training the peaceful mind can overcome all negativity, fear and distrust the basic causes of stress.