As you begin reading, notice your breathing and become aware of your body…
You often hear people (even yourself) saying, “Oh, I’m so stressed!” or “My work is so stressful!” or “The kids stress me out.”
What is Stress?
The Dictionary defines stress as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
When your mind perceives threat, it tells your body to gear up to fight or flight. All energy and blood is diverted to your muscles, getting ready for action. This is a wonderful gift evolution presented us with when humans had to survive in the wild. Fortunately, we evolved and learnt other survival skills – we invented everything from primitive tools to modern day technology.
However, always being in the ‘action’ mode can damage brain cells and your immune system, making you vulnerable to physical and mental disorders and take away your peace.
Unfortunately, modern, urban life which sees success as material possessions, keeps us consistently in the ‘action’ mode. Multitasking is the buzzword and Juggling multiple roles and responsibilities somehow makes us seem better than others in our own eyes.
This translates into stress, which most of us have accepted as something inevitable, even normal. As a result, despite being at the epitome of progress, we now have more cases of heart disease, depression, drug abuse, unhappy relationships, more than ever before in the human history.
Fortunately, we have all these years of wisdom traditions, like yoga and mindfulness to our rescue.
If you’ve heard about it and wondered whether it is one of those new-age practices, here’s the thing.
Mindfulness is not rocket science. It is simply focused, non-reactive awareness. Awareness already exists in each one of us. Don’t we know how to stop and pay attention to something important? The practice of mindfulness is simply the cultivating this marvelous ability to turn it into our default setting.
Mindfulness meditation can help the practice of mindfulness become as natural as breathing, so that whether you are writing an email, having a conversation or commuting to work, you can be mindful. This will enable you to cope with stress, even prevent it in the first place and enjoy a greater sense of well-being.
The best way to train yourself is mindfulness meditation with a coach who can help you improve through meditation and deep conversations so that you can move you from where you are to where you want to be.