Mindfulness Success Factor 5: Managing Stress
Perhaps the pinnacle of one branch of mindfulness referred to a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is the management of stress. Note the word “reduction” “not elimination”.
Some degree of stress is beneficial to your life. It challenges you and your mind and that is healthy for your brain. However an excess of stress pumps all sorts of chemical components into your body which are unhealthy for both your brain and mind.
Too bad stress reduction doesn’t automatically happen with a few mediation sessions. In fact it may take weeks or even months before you can learn how to meditate.
What meditation does is to rest your mind and body and to attain the mindset to better understand what is influencing your brain.
Your first step in stress reduction is to learn how to meditate and that will help you identify negative thoughts and realise what they are….just thoughts that influence your perception of reality.
Secondly you have to try and control or shut up that voice in your head always trying to take over your mind. Like negative thoughts that voice is a threat to your health.
Thirdly you really need to develop some compassion for yourself and others to soften what you think is unpleasant reality.
Lastly you need to be able to feel as one and by that as a whole living organism. You can’t be a healthy human being unless you are indeed a whole human being in mind and body.
As a last comment there is a point that mindfulness starts to lose its effectiveness. There are certain situations so stressful that few humans can endure and unless that is addressed mindfulness can malfunction. In such situations you may wish to seek psychiatric advice. At that point mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and drugs may be required as if you can’t reduce such overwhelming stress it will kill you and damage your brain and cause premature ageing.