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Stress: a mindful approach with meditation for stress

Stress affects all of us.  Most of the time the stress we feel is normal.  Some of us live with stress every day.  Stress is bad for your physical and mental health.  Meditation is a healthy way to relieve stress and create positive outcomes.

Overview of Stress

stress management infographic
illustration of stress management infographic

Stress is natural.  For the most part, our stress is what is called Eustress or good stress.  Good stress is temporary and comes with good things like planning a wedding or getting ready for a vacation. 

Negative stress happens when something goes wrong such as getting stuck in traffic and being late for work. 

When your brain perceives a threat, the primitive brain takes over and goes into fight or flight mode.  This response, the stress response, prepare your body to stay and deal with the threat or run away.  The primitive brain does not know the difference between a real threat and a perceived threat.  The stress response will trigger something major like a car accident or during something minor like an argument with your kids.

This is how your body reacts when that happens:

  • The sympathetic nervous system is activated
  • Adrenaline and noradrenaline (hormones) are released
  • Increase in heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure
  • The body tenses up ready for action
  • It can take up to 60 minutes for your body to calm down and get back to normal. 

Chronic Stress Meditation

Chronic stress happens when you are under stress daily.  When you are stressed out all the time, your body doesn’t get back to its normal functions, it stays in a heighten more.  Chronic stress is what causes a lot of health problems. With our handpicked guided meditations for stress, you will be able to alleviate the impact of stress & anxiety on your daily life.

Symptoms of Chronic Stress

Sometimes when you have chronic stress its not obvious because it’s your normal.  These are some of the symptoms that you may be under chronic stress:

  • Headaches
  • Problems falling or staying asleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability (can be excessive)
  • Digestive problems
  • Change in eating habits
  • The feeling that you don’t have any control
  • Getting sick frequently

There are many things that can cause chronic stress some potential causes of chronic stress are:

  • A demanding job with deadlines
  • Financial difficulties
  • Being a caregiver
  • Being in a difficult relationship
  • Having a chronic illness
  • Stresses Impact on Health

Learning to manage your stress is important to your health.  Many chronic health conditions stem from stress.  When you have chronic stress, your body doesn’t get to the point where it goes back to a restful stated because the stress is constant.  This means that the body doesn’t get a chance to heal and repair itself. Over time, stress takes its toll on your health. A great way to learn how to manage stress is to practice meditation. Even if you are a beginner, our app will help you find comfort in meditations.  Here are some of the conditions that can develop with chronic stress.

Heart Disease

stress management
stressed person

One in four deaths is related to heart disease.  Coronary Heart Disease is the number one cause of death globally.  Heart disease encompasses several types of heart conditions.  Stress does not necessarily cause heart disease, but heart disease can be a result of stress. 

When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol.  If you have long term stress, the high levels of cortisol can increase cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure.  These factors are all common in heart disease.  Stress can also create changes that promote the build-up plaque in the arteries.  By practicing meditation for stress & anxiety with consistency, you will be able to handle stress in an objective way.

High Blood Pressure

Because stress raises your blood pressure, experiencing chronic stress can keep your blood pressure high for a long period of time.  This can cause damage to the blood vessels.  High blood pressure often does not have symptoms, but the complications are numerous including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Vision loss
  • Heart failure

In a systematic review of blood pressure and stress, researchers concluded that individuals who had a stronger response to tasks causing stress were 21% more likely to develop a higher blood pressure increased compared to those who were less stressed when they completed tasks. 

Obesity

How much someone should weigh depends on several factors including age, gender, and height.  Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. affecting 1 in 3 adults. 

In a study done in the UK, researchers took hair samples from 2,527 men and women that equaled 2 months’ worth of hair growth.  The study was done over a 4 year period.  Each time researchers took a hair sample, they checked cortisol levels.  They found that those individuals who had higher cortisol levels had a larger waist circumference. 

In another study researchers also found a correlation between high cortisol levels and obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

Other conditions that are stress-related are:

  • Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Alzheimers Disease

Not only our app has tens of meditations on stress & anxiety, but it also contains weight loss and eating disorders meditation. The topics include: Beat anorexia, Beating bulimia, Decrease your appetite, Eat slowly, Eating due depression, Eliminate unhealthy eating habits, Weight loss hypnosis, and long meditation. You can also check our article on mindful eating which provides healthy eating tips.

Meditation for Stress

stress free
stress free couple

There are several things you can do to help manage stress but learning to manage stress with meditation will not only make you a happier person, but it will also make you a healthier person.  In the late ’70s, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was born. 

Meditation has since become one of the most popular ways to relieve stress.  Learning to calm your body and mind can help dissolve your emotional and physical stress.  After meditating you feel better and can more readily take on the challenges ahead.

Meditation involves being still and quiets the mind.  Meditation sessions can be any length but should be at least 5 minutes.  The more practice meditation, the more benefits you get out of it. 

When you feel stressed and your body goes into the stress response, meditation does the opposite, it triggers the relaxation response.  This allows the body time to repair itself so no further physical damage is done. 

Studies have shown how beneficial meditation for stress can be. With our meditation app, you can enjoy guided meditations for stress and anxiety for FREE. Download our meditation app by clicking here

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