Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety

Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of our busy lives now, and there are times when you would not want to be without them. If you are in stress it's telling you something about your environment, your body and your thoughts.

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it, keeping you alert and ready to avoid danger. However it becomes dangerous when there’s no relief or relaxation between the stressful thoughts and feelings you're experiencing.

The charity MIND provide some good tips of how to look our for signs of stress. (Link 1)

Research is showing us that stress can play a part in obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma. In recent studies, it is shown to affect our ability to regulate inflammation which can promote the development and progression of disease. The effect of chronic stress can range from sleep problems to heart disease (Link 2).

I don’t want to worry you anymore but stress can kill! The way in which people deal with stress is different, the first port of call is to realise you are stressed or suffering from anxiety, you cannot begin to try to manage yourself if you are unaware how you're feeling. Most people will find themselves at the doctors being prescribed drugs, medication is an easy way to combat stress and anxiety but come with serious downsides, and it's more than just side effects, medications can harm your ability to cope with stress in the future because of:

PHYSIOLOGICAL DEPENDENCE
Your brain starts to depend on it and your natural stress coping ability gets worse, so you have to take it every day even if you're not feeling anxious.

PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPENDENCE
When you depend so much on the medicine that you don’t do anything else to cure your anxiety, you would like to stop taking the medication but have no idea how to live without it.

So we need to have a different relationship with our stress and anxiety and that’s where Mindfulness comes in. In recent years there have been more studies to prove the effectiveness of Meditation and Mindfulness where stress and anxiety are concerned. (Link 3)

The John Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School in America have done studies to suggest that Mindful Meditation can help ease anxiety, mental stress, depression and pain. (Link 4)


References:

  1. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/stress/signs-of-stress/
  2. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm
  3. https://www.mindful.org/mindfulness-beats-job-stress-burnout/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967

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