Stress And Anxiety

Stress and anxiety put people in the hospital on a daily basis. It might not be usual to go to the doctor to say "I think I have stress," but the National Institute of Health indicates that around 80 percent of illnesses are caused by stress, either directly or indirectly.  

Powerful hormones, consisting of adrenalin, are exposed into your blood when you are stressed and anxious.  They produce a rise in blood pressure, a faster heart and breathing rate, and quicker conversion of glycogen into glucose.  These are all good things, as long as you need to escape a charging grizzly bear.  However, when these effects are prolonged, as they frequently are in contemporary life, the immune system is depressed, and the body suffers additional negative transformations. 

Several of the usual negative effects of stress that is prolonged consist of fatigue, pain in the muscles and joints, headache, depression, anxiety, irritability and mental confusion.  These stress responses cause your body to use excessive energy, which could eventually lead to physical and mental weakness. 

Stress and anxiety relief 

At Stanford University, an analysis of 146 meditation studies was conducted.  The result was that meditation was not just beneficial at the time of practice, but that it greatly decreased anxiety as a character trait.  Most of the studies concentrated on transcendental meditation, but it is likely that the most of the procedures have similar results.  (Reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957­974, 1989.) 

What this means is that meditation really could help you defend yourself against stress and anxiety.  Deeper meditation possibly has the most beneficial effects, but what if you are short on time, or unsure about learning how to meditate?  No concerns.  There are two simple meditation techniques you could learn in a couple of minutes, and begin using the same day. 

Breathing meditation technique 

First, there is a breathing meditation.  It begins with just closing your eyes and letting the tension drain from your muscles.  Then release your thoughts as much as you can, and then breathe deeply through your nose, paying close attention to your breathe.  When thoughts and sensations arise, accept them and return your attention to your breathing, as it goes in and out.  That's all.  Just do this for 5 or 10 minutes. 

Mindfulness meditation technique 

The second technique is a mindfulness meditation.  When you are feeling stress and anxiety, end whatever you are doing and take three deep breaths.  Then observe your mind until you recognize what is disturbing you.  Maybe you're concerned about something?  There could be a letter you may have to write, or your neck could be sore.  Try to identify every small irritation. 

Then do something with these stressors.  Make a call that is on your mind, take an aspirin, place things on tomorrow's list.  Perhaps the best you can do is to understand that there's nothing you can do just now- so do that.  Care for each irritation, so that you can let it go.  Your anxiety will decrease right away. 


Practice and you'll improve at finding what is just below the surface of consciousness, bothering you.  Once you address these things, close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and you'll feel more relaxed and able to think more clearly.  Give it a try now.  It's a powerful way to reduce your stress and anxiety.