In our brain, the amygdala (pronounced ay-myg-da-la) is the driving force behind our processing of fearful and threatening stimuli. Only the size of two peanuts, this portion of our brain is the regulator for our stress and fear to either keep us calm or send us into panic mode.
When triggered, the amygdala begins to work and notices a potentially strenuous situation. This situation could be the traffic light scenario or an upcoming deadline at work that isn’t going according to plan. When you aren’t able to control your emotions and thoughts, the amygdala kicks in and takes over. This is why some people handle stressful situations better than others. They know and understand their body and emotions. They are mindful of their situation and themselves. This is why so many people are turning to meditation for stress management.
Meditation for Stress Management
Meditation is an extremely effective way to relieve strass and achieve a happier, more relaxing life. While there are many different types of meditation and relaxation techniques, it’s important to find one that works for you. Remember, everyone is different so just because someone used one meditative practice doesn’t mean the same will work for you.
All meditative techniques are the same in principle however. The main goal is to realign and refocus your attention, control your breathing, and be mindful.
Refocusing may sound very simple, but try to count to 10 without thinking about anything else. Good luck. Understanding how to refocus and reduce the clutter in your mind is THE most important element of meditation. This is because it helps you release your mind from negative thoughts to focus on the positive ones. Maybe you just want some peace and quite. Wouldn’t it be nice to refocus in a cluttered and noisy coffee shop to take a few deep breaths and relax? Meditation can help.
Controlled Breathing (Link to Breathing Blog Post)
At our core, breathing is what helps regulate the rest of our body. It could be considered the gatekeeper for stress management. By being able to control your breathing with deep, purposeful breaths, you can increase your oxygen intake, take pressure off of your muscles, and realign yourself. A few simple deep breaths can take a situation from stressful to inconsequential in a matter of seconds.
Being mindful will help you become more consciously aware of yourself, your surroundings, and the situation at hand. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand and allow all other distractions, emotions, thoughts, pass without judgement so you can focus on what’s important, you!
Basic Meditative Practice
To get started meditating easy can be done in the comfort of your home in a matter of 15 minutes a day. It’s best practice to do it either first thing in the morning or just before bed. But if you want to be an overachiever, practicing twice a day is great.
Find a comfortable place in your home, your office, or wherever you may be. Laying down is ok but it’s important to note that you want to remain awake. So find a comfortable, quiet place that you can stay awake in.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let your mind drift and try to let your mind get lost. You want to allow your thoughts to flow freely but do your best to keep negative and stress provoking ones at bay. If you begin to feel these thoughts creep in, take a deep breath and refocus.
Meditation is not something that will be accomplished in the first or second practice. It will take time and repetition to achieve the results you want. And once you get to the state you want to be at, you’ll never look back.
Start Your Meditative Journey
Your meditative journey doesn’t have to be a lonesome one. At Theta, we offer GMS (Guided Meditation and Suggestion) therapy to help you achieve the peace you seek. GMS helps you enter into a deep state of suggestibility to influence your emotional, behavioral, and cognitive change to align yourself with your personal goals.
The way we think and what we constantly think about determines what we achieve and fail to achieve throughout our daily lives. Most of us believe we are consciously in charge of our thoughts, but this is far from the truth. According to cognitive neuroscience, our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend on the 95% of brain activity that is unconscious, which is influenced by our past conditioning, experiences as well as of the collective cultural mind-set we inherited.
Get started with your meditative journey today with Theta GMS.
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Ah yes, stress. A daily nemesis that seemingly finds its way into nearly every situation of our lives. Some allow stress to pass them by like a cool breeze on a summer day. While others allow stress to consume their life and control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. We all know someone who is consumed by their stress. We also know this is no way to properly live.
Stress is something that eats away at who we are and had serious consequences to our overall wellbeing. Although stress is normal, yes normal, its how our body handles it that is different for everyone.
Stress is the body’s natural response to different physical or emotional experiences. When you sit behind someone at a green light and have to beep, your body’s reaction is to become annoyed and angry with that person in front of you. Everyone handles stress differently but for far too many people, stress has become something that they’ve learned to live with rather than deal with.
What Does Stress Look Like?
Stress shows itself in numerous different ways; it’s even possible it’s a different reaction to the same situation. The fight or flight response is our bodies nervous system controlling our emotions. This is why our palms get sweaty, we perspire, we experience an increased heart rate, our muscles tense up. This is our bodies way of automatically handling different situations.
When stress is experienced for a prolonged period of time, chronic stress, our bodies can no longer decipher actual stress-enducing scenarios and minute ones. So the body begins to interpret nearly every situation as a stressful one. This is not good! This wears down our bodies in a physical and emotional way and our behavior adapts to that. People who experience chronic stress often suffer from severe anxiety, depression, sadness, outbursts, and irrational behavior when something doesn’t quite go right.
For individuals who experience this chronic stress, they often turn to alcohol, gambling, smoking, drugs, or compulsive behavior to take their mind off of one stressful situation and turn to another. Physical symptoms include constant aches and pains, high blood pressure, prolonged anxiety, sleep apenia, digestive problems, and weaker immune systems, among other physical ailments.
Stress should not be something that people inherit into their lives. It should be something that is managed, controlled, and released almost instantaneously.