It’s no surprise that over the last few years, our stress levels have increased. With everything that has happened in life, it is only normal to be feeling the added pressures. But what does this added stress mean for your body?
Everyone experiences stress from time to time. It is a natural reaction to situations that take place in life and are out of our control. The impacts of stress can be many, such as causing:
There are many more impacts on your body and mind that are linked to stress.
For example, when you are under stress, your liver will produce extra blood sugar to provide you with energy. However, if you are stressed for a long period of time your body will not be able to keep up with the extra glucose your body is producing. The overproduction of glucose can lead to the development of diabetes in the future.
Stress is a condition that must be understood and taken care of as soon as possible to reduce any harmful long term impacts.
There are many ways to decrease stress levels, with one being to harness the magical powers of meditation.
Meditation can be described as a set of techniques used to achieve a heightened state of awareness and attention. It is commonly practised every day to allow individuals to ground themselves and feel inner peace and tranquillity.
You can meditate for an hour or even just for a simple few minutes in the morning before starting the day ahead.
Below are 3 major benefits of meditating:
This one is by far one of the most popular benefits of meditation. Many individuals meditate purely to relieve stress. Meditation can give rise to a deep state of relaxation. Stress relief occurs as, during meditation, you can focus your attention on what you want and eliminate any negative thoughts that may be crowding your mind.
2. Focus on the present
Many of us think about the future, about our future and as exciting as it can be, it can also be daunting sometimes. Some of us don’t even know what we are going to have for breakfast tomorrow morning, let alone known what our 5-year plan is. The power of meditation allows you to focus on the moment you are in and to breathe in those exact seconds. During meditation, the only thing you need to focus on is your breathing as you slowly inhale and exhale, rather than thinking about your taxes, job, family, friends and everything in between.
3. Increase patience and tolerance
Do you ever feel like you are going to explode with anger? Perhaps you have noticed your breathing in those moments - you may be holding your breath or be taking quick, impulsive breaths thereby increasing your heart rate. When you meditate with an instructor you are told for how long you should inhale and exhale - this is done to also lower and calm your heart rate making you more relaxed.
There are many studios and retreats in Greece that offer a variety of yoga classes and many offering the course for you to become a qualified instructor. Just imagine yourself on one of the yoga retreats in Santorini, where you are left feeling at peace and refreshed. Who could think of a better way to get rid of all of those unwanted stress levels than meditating whilst travelling around Greece, looking over the Aegean sea as the sun sets and the souvlakia grill?
But in the meantime, those of us who are stuck at home can practice this breathing exercise if you are ever feeling stressed or just want a moment to relax:
- Inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight.
- Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three to four more times.
There are also several applications created for meditation purposes and the world is filled with studios and teachers that host classes to guide you into a more relaxed state of being.