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Stress is normal a physical reaction to activities and events in our life when we feel afraid, threaten or upset. Stress is your body’s way of protecting you. When functioning properly, stress can help you stay focused, energetic, alert and present. Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently. It is important to recognize your stress level, and the signs, symptoms and effects it has on your body and mind. Once you recognize the signs, it is also important to learn ways to manage stress. One way to manage stress is through meditation or calming relaxation techniques.

There are numerous types and techniques of meditation and conscious relaxation techniques.  These techniques encompass: formal sitting in which the body is held immobile and the attention controlled; pausing for a few moments and simply focusing on your breath; listening to music or soothing sounds; and moving through a daily round of basic activities mindfully.  Each of these primarily focuses on quieting the mind.  The purpose is to direct the attention to a place a calm, healing and relaxation. This could be through a sound, word, image or breath. When the mind is softened and filled with peacefulness; stress, worry and depression are removed.

Primary benefits of practicing meditation or calming relaxation techniques

Physical Benefits

  • Enhances energy, strength and vigor.
  • Deeper level of physical relaxation measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.
  • Lowered levels of cortisol (hormone that is released in response to stress; like adrenaline, it helps us deal with stress, but too much can be harmful); and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress.
  • Reduction of free radicals- less tissue damage.
  • Decreased high blood pressure.
  • Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.
  • Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.
  • Cure headaches & migraines
  • Harmonizes our endocrine system
  • Produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity

Psychological Benefits

  • Increased brain wave coherence.
  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Decreased depression.
  • Decreased irritability and moodiness.
  • Improved learning ability and memory.
  • Increased self-actualization.
  • Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
  • Increased happiness.
  • Increased emotional stability.
  • Increase creativity
  • Increased productivity
  • Greater tolerance
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