Understanding Meditation and Stress
by Joseph Drumheller
The 20th Century buzz-word was certainly stress. The beauty of the 21st century is we’ve perfected stress with technology. Because many of us lead such busy fast-paced lives, we don’t even recognize how much chronic stress we’re under.
Life is full of inherent stresses. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s been well documented that stress does nasty things like creating or enhancing physical illness, as well as accelerating the aging process.
To get a handle on the problem, it’s very important to understand where stress comes from. So let’s boil stress down into two basic categories; avoidable and unavoidable.
Unavoidable stress is the product of life circumstances; the unexpected occurs, traffic grinds to a halt, we raise kids, deadlines get moved up, we relocate, workloads increase, a family member dies, life happens, etc., etc. There’s not much we can do about this type of stress. Our only control is how we deal with it. There are all sorts of ways to alleviate such pressures, such as meditation, recreation, exercise, hobbies, talking to friends, dealing with a problem directly, or even some type of therapy.
Avoidable stress is anxiety we can do something about. It’s the product of pain from the past that has been suppressed into the subconscious, usually from some sort of emotional trauma. This type of stress creates repeating patterns of the same stress over and over again. In other words, the circumstances are the same but the cast of characters has changed. Subconscious healing techniques are the most effective way to release these stressful patterns. Those that can help may include energy workers, healers, hypnotherapists or even acupuncturists.
Another contributor to avoidable stress is the product of family, societal, religious or media conditioning. People often feel pressured to be or do something that is completely out of alignment with who they are because they have been taught otherwise by their parents, teachers, peers or TV. This type of stress can be very debilitating because the source is generally not recognized. Sometimes to alleviate this kind of stress you just need to ask yourself the question, “Do I really need to do this?” If the answer is no, then the best cure is to have the courage to make different decisions. We are all born to be and do something specific in this life. Not living yourself the life you were born to live can produce a very deep and subtle chronic stress.
The most productive way to take stress head-on is through deep states of relaxation or meditation. It’s very simple and exceptionally effective. However, meditation, like anything else, is a learned technique and can take on different forms such as traditional meditation or something more active like yoga.
The purpose of relaxation and meditation is to be inwardly still by gently breathing, quieting the mind, and experiencing a higher power. Meditation transcends all religions and belief system, so you don’t have to believe in anything. It’s really about the experience of inner peace. When you meditate regularly, you will start to see shifts in your external world. Stress will begin to naturally reduce. That’s because the subconscious mind is continually projecting what is inside us out into our physical world. As we become more peaceful on the inside, our external lives will follow that lead.
Joseph Drumheller is an award-winning author, instructor, and leader in meditation, since 1991. He spent six years perfecting his craft in a cancer radiation clinic. Find Joseph at www.josephdrumheller.com. Click this link for Joseph's Udemy course, The Ultimate Guide to Meditation, Healing and Spirituality: Guided Techniques in Deep Relaxation to Create a Mindful Life