Isn’t it funny that in preparation for something relaxing or fun, like a vacation or a wedding, we usually experience a lot of stress and anxiety trying to reach this, “stress free”, goal?
When I used to go on a vacation the last couple of days at the office were always very stressful: Can I finish up everything on time? What will happen when I’m away? Can they handle it? What if something goes wrong? And how big is the mess when I’m back at the office?
Going on vacation meant making long stressful hours in the week before and after the vacation. The first couple of days of vacation always involved having headaches, being restless and other detox effects of the stress I was under. In between I had a couple of stress free weeks. But once back at work I immediately forgot the relaxed state I was in (and the vacation) and entered into that same old pattern of stress, which I was under almost the entire year.
Stress is so normal in our day-to-day lives that we consider it to be the norm, not the exception. We keep ourselves busy all the time and once we experience rest, we cannot cope with it as we are so addicted to stress.
We even look at relaxed and stress free people with some suspicion; something must be wrong with them. It is like an American, driving for the first time in England, thinking that all the other cars (who are approaching him on the same lane) are on the wrong side of the road!
Stress is not normal. In fact too much stress is very bad for us. Stress is the bodies fight or flight response which is useful if we are in a dangerous situation, but not all the time. Being in a constant state of stress can also lead to illnesses such as depression or heart disease.
If you look at nature, everything has its own pace and nothing is rushed. Animals wake up with the first sign of light and go to sleep when it is getting dark. Nothing is forced, everything is natural. That is why nature relaxes us so much; it is reminding us of our natural state.
People on the other hand have alienated themselves so much from nature that they consider stress the norm, especially in our, what we call, civilized society. We make long hours, live far away from nature, work in unnatural conditions, and are under a constant pressure to perform. We live in our minds instead of our bodies. We are bombarded with so much stimuli that we forgot to rely on the subtle signals that our bodies are telling us; Signals indicating that stress is not good for us.
Isn’t it time to break this cycle once and for all? Nature is our natural medicine to stress. I like being in nature as much as possible. Being in nature always brings me back to my natural, stress free, state. A state where I do not feel rushed or forced.
Meditation does the same thing. The beauty of mediation is that you can do it almost anywhere, anytime. You can meditate for 10 minutes, 20, 30 or longer. It is up to you. Even 5 minutes a day is effective. If you meditate on a regular basis, you build in a daily routine of sitting down and do nothing; Getting in touch with your feelings, not your mind. This may feel unnatural at first (especially if you are a busy person and full of stress) but after a while it feels very good and natural. It relaxes and rejuvenates.
Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, restoring the natural balance in body and mind. Since I meditate I experience less stress and can cope with almost anything in life. I am a more joyful, playful and happier person. Experience a stress free life with meditation.