Meditation Is A Natural Activity
Many people still think of meditation as something strange: you know . . shaving your hair off, wearing robes and living in a cave. The truth is that meditation is a natural activity for our everyday life. Do you want to live a life that is fully alive, with less stress and more joy? Then meditation is for you.
Meditation Can Help You
Many people start meditation because they want to reduce the stress in their lives. Modern life is stressful to an incredible extent. A sociologist on the radio said that with the use of satellites, television and computers, you and I receive more information in 1 day than our ancestors of several generations ago used to receive in 1,000 days. That means our brains have to process as much input in 24 hours as our brains used to process in 24,000 hours. This results in an overload – 75% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related disorders.
A list of some of some of the mental and emotional signs of stress include:
- An agitated mind
- Feelings of Inadequacy
- Increased Irritability
Some of the stress related diseases include:
- Heart Disease
- Migraine Headaches
- Stomach Ulcers
- High Blood Pressure
- Respiratory Diseases
- Chronic Low Back Pain
The Definition Of Stress
What is stress? Webster’s Dictionary says that stress is “any mental or physical tension or strain.” The real problem is that our physical response to stress was developed over hundreds of thousands of years and remains the same as in the cave people days. If you were a caveman walking down a path and a tiger ran in front of you, your body immediately readied itself to either fight of flee with the following reactions:
- The heartbeat increased to pump blood throughout the body with greater speed
- Blood pressure went up
- Breathing became rapid and shallow
- Adrenaline and other hormones were released into the blood
- The liver released sugar into the system to meet the increased energy needs
- The eyes dilated to let in more light
- Muscles tensed for movement
- The digestive system shut down to allow the blood flow to increase to the major muscle groups
- The hands and feet became cold from lack of blood circulation
- The body perspired to cool itself
Now all of this was a wonderful adaptation for the caveman; he could fight or run away and “use up” all the physical changes that had occurred. But what about us? Every time someone swerves in front of our car; every time our boss or co-worker yells at us, perhaps every time the phone rings, our bodies go into the stress reaction mode and we can’t fight our run. Instead, many of us stay in a perpetual state of stress.
Meditation Can Help You Manage Stress
There have been many scientific studies on meditation and stress that have proven that meditation “works” in reducing stress. In fact, researchers indicate that Meditation produces a reaction that is the exact opposite of stress: there is an intensification of alpha waves, decreased perspiration, decreased heart rate, increased peripheral blood flow, decreased respiration rate and volume, and decreased blood lactate levels.
There are many other benefits of meditation besides stress reduction. Meditation enables you to:
- Make conscious choices in your life rather than reacting on automatic pilot; on old habit patterns
- Open to your intuition or inner knowing
- Solve life problems
- Live joyfully in the present moment.
Here’s a joke I heard recently. A co-pilot of a large airline approached the pilot and told him “I just saw the red warning lift under Landing-Gear Malfunction flashing on and off” “So what did you do”, quickly asked the pilot. “I unscrewed the light bulb” answered the co-pilot. Doesn’t sound funny or realistic? Actually, it’s the way many of us are living our lives. How often do we address the symptoms and not the a problem? Meditation goes to the root of the problem.
Meditation will work for everyone. The only question is – are your ready for it? Do you want to change? Are you willing to put in the effort required? You can’t just read books or come to classes, take notes and “get it.” What you learn are methods that you must apply to your daily life.