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Mindfulness and Meditation techniques can help reduce Stress levels

Mindfulness and Meditation techniques are a proven way to help reduce Stress levels, in the body and the thought mind too. Some of the other processes that can be complimentary to the practice include breathing exercises, yoga asana and personalised guided lessons.

Stress is both, real and perceived. Mindfulness, Meditation and the related techniques can help reduce the jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your thought mind and triggering stress.  

Don’t we usually hear ourselves and others say: ‘The stress levels have increased over the years’? 

Science has; now, come up with the proof to substantiate this commonly heard statement. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, after analyzing data from more than 6,300 people, believes that there’s more stress in people’s lives today than 25 years ago. A 2011 poll conducted by Nielsen found out that 87% of Indian women felt stressed most of the time.

The American Medical Association notes that stress is the basic cause for more than 60% of all human illnesses and diseases. From headaches to anger to even strokes and heart diseases, stress causes untold damage to the human body. 

Under stress, a part of the brain termed as the HPA is activated, which in turn, triggers the stress hormone cortisol and neurotransmitters like adrenaline which leads to anger. The brain also releases neuropeptide S, a protein that regulates stress by decreasing sleep and increasing anxiety. The neurotransmitter catecholamine released under stress, suppresses activity in frontal areas of the brain. As the frontal area of the brain is related to short-term memory, concentration and rational thought, stress also impairs our ability to handle logical work. 

Mindfulness, Meditation and related techniques can help reduce Stress

Mindfulness and Meditation, probably some of the oldest healing techniques, are considered by many doctors and researchers to be of utmost help in controlling stress and related disorders.

Regular Mindfulness and Meditation is closely associated with lower levels of cortisol. This has been proved by Tonya Jacobs, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, after her three-month long observation of 57 meditators. Regular meditators have less gray matter in amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress, when compared to non-meditators. 

Benzodiazepines and beta blockers are mostly prescribed for treating mood disorders, the physiological side effects of which have been well chronicled. Considering the fact that meditation allows one to reduce stress with absolutely no adverse effects on the body, it is advisable for stressed people to incorporate mindfulness and meditation sessions in their daily regime.

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[1] Stress Management: Ways to manage and eliminate stress

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