Stress on Meditation to Destress
The world has become an angry, impatient place to live in. We humans, who are the building blocks of the communities have contributed much towards developing this sense of insecurity and anger, which we witness in our everyday life. It is really hard to control one’s impulsive reactions to the environment around us which more times than not is all set to trigger the worst in us. Be it the trifle argument at home before leaving to work or the inevitable road rage, every human has this fierce need to express their anger. Anger is described as an intense emotional state involving a strong, uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. But these days even the simplest of things is set to trigger us into an uncontrolled, explosive response that is preventing us from leading a healthy, happy life. Anger is something that cannot be removed from one’s emotional range, but we can do our part to control and conquer it. Each individual has their own ways to curb their reaction during bouts of anger. But there are generic solutions that with thorough and widespread research, have proven to be quite effective in diminishing the impact of anger on our psyche
First let us look at why we need a solution to control anger. Anger albeit being an emotion, has a profound impact on both the body and mind. While anger is a necessary emotion to leading a balanced life, uncontrolled responses to it have a direct impact on our longevity. Some of the lesser known physiological effects of anger are heart attacks, reduced immunity, insomnia and somnambulism (Sleep Walking), skin rashes and eczema, indigestion, increased blood pressure, anxiety, depression, migraines and stress due to overthinking. Anger can also aggravate existing medical conditions if any. The constant barrage of negative emotions can take a toll on the relationships we have with the people around us. They start avoiding us in order to keep life going smooth, which further alienates us from living a normal life. This is a strain especially within the family disrupting the otherwise stable dynamics of the household.
What research has to say:
A study conducted by the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition has surprisingly found that one minimum session of Meditation can reduce our body’s response to anger to a great extent. This research was conducted on sample groups containing meditation newbies and practised meditators. They were asked to recollect incidents or experiences that had made them angry and measured the physiological changes they underwent then. As expected most came up with emotions of stress, accompanied by shallow, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and raised blood pressure. But the level of impact was significantly lower for the meditators when compared to the no meditators. They were also able to subdue these symptoms with just 20 minutes of meditation in the newbies. The researchers came to the conclusion that meditation helps us respond to the situation, rather than react in anger, with a stark difference. This same study has been conducted in various institutions, across various countries with different sample groups. Thus there is convincing research to prove meditation is effective in controlling anger and stress.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the act of focussing on an object, activity or thought to achieve a calm and clear state of mind. The earliest mention of the science of meditation is in the Hindu scriptures. It is generally agreed upon as a Yogic science that spread to all parts of the world and to all religions. India has always attracted a lot of foreign interest to this particular spiritual search for the self through the art of meditation. Although this sounds simple, it is very difficult to harness all your thoughts together and bring them to control. When you try to focus on a particular thing, it is not unusual for the untrained mind to wander to lesser topics and unwanted distractions. Many saints train day and night to achieve this clarity of mind under the mindful tutelage of masters
Simple meditation technique
We need not attend expensive classes or invest in time consuming sessions. Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly, emptying all thoughts from our head for a few minutes. It is understandable that the modern way of life, leaves little time for self-care. Therefore we will show you a simple 15 minute meditation session. Before you begin the meditation process, ensure that you are not on a full stomach. The stomach needs to be sufficiently full without over eating. Next find a relatively quiet place within your home or office. Inform the family or colleagues that you are not to be disturbed during the meditation session. You can try simple sound proofing by locking the door and windows and placing a thick towel under the door. While it can be done sitting on a chair, it is strongly advised to practise it on the floor, unless you have an orthopaedic condition that prevents you from doing so. Silence is encouraged but you can have a soothing music or divine chants in the background without it being too loud. If it is loud it will again add to the distraction. There are plenty of meditation music apps available online these days which you can use. Seat yourself in the Padmasana Yogic position. This is the best pose to meditate in. For beginners it is okay to start with the Ardha Padmasana or Sukhsana pose. The Sukhasana is the regular Indian way of sitting cross legged on the floor. It is not advisable to sit directly on the floor. Place a yoga mat or a folded blanket and seat yourself on it. Close your eyes and try to focus your mind on the Bindi spot on your forehead, from within. Some people choose to keep their eyes open and focus on an object or lamp in front of them placed at eye level. Try to empty your mind of all thoughts, preferably by envisioning yourself in an empty white room.
Alternate Nostril Breathing Method
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Press your right nostril with your Right Thumb with the fore and middle fingers closed and the ring and little fingers stretched out. Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril till you feel you can take in no more air. Close the Left nostril with your ring finger and remove the thumb from the right nostril. Exhale slowly through the right nostril till all the breath leaves your body. Now maintain your fingers as such and Inhale deeply through the right nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat this alternating nostril breathing for 15 minutes or longer if you can. The last exhalation must always be through the left nostril.
The meditation practice may take some time to master. Initially you can keep an alarm or set the timer on your phone to help you keep time during meditation. Stray thoughts are bound to come in, but it is important to not let yourself be distracted by them. Instead gently push them away with your mind. This is beneficial when practised twice a day, preferably at dawn and once before you got to bed. You can also choose the time you meditate to reflect on the thoughts and deeds you are grateful for. On the long run, you can see a visible change in your attitude and you will develop a mature handle on life. If you are about to take any important decisions but are unsure, you can always meditate before you take them. It will clear your mind, helping you make sound choices in life. Your positive attitude and energy which was brought about by this meditation practise will improve your relationships at work and home, making life happy and easy. It is never too late to start and there is never a better time than now. Start practising meditation daily to subdue anger and destress and improve your quality of life. If meditation has helped reduce your stress, feel free to tell us your tale in the comments below.