Understanding your body’s responses to your environment can help to eliminate confusion about what’s going on with you at various times in your life. When our bodies react to the environment, it can be hard to define and understand the symptoms, and potentially challenging to get to the authentic root cause of the reaction. Let’s look at what Stress Responses are, and how Guided Meditations can help.
What Is a Stress Response?
Stress is an emergency response system that evolved to allow our ancestors to avoid or diffuse attacks on their lives. Attacks from a wild animal, other situations encountered when living in the wild unknown – their lives were full of stressors.
The human body’s stress system response evolved to allow the body to create excess adrenaline and cortisol, which are hormones that are initiated during the fight or flight response. When this heightened state is activated, blood and other nutrients are diverted from the organs, and our immune system is lowered to conserve energy for the fight for survival, or to take flight and avoid danger.
This would show up as either fighting a wild animal or running from it to try to reach safety. Thankfully, in our modern times, we are not often chased by wild animals in our everyday lives. Instead, we are attacked by modern pressures of work, life, career, and other responsibilities.
We may feel like we are under immense pressure all the time and therefore cannot get out of fight or flight mode. When this happens, we often refer to the issue vaguely as “stress.” Stress means that rather than our body being in rest and digest mode, it is pumped up and ready to run. Because feeling a certain amount of stress is chronic for most people in modern times, this begins to cause negative effects on the mind and body.
Chronic exposure to stress can weaken your immune system, can change your DNA, and may contribute to early aging and declining health. Long-term stress can also lead to increased inflammation and other symptoms like depression and anxiety, and the onset of autoimmune disease, hypertension, headaches, and other issues.
Sometimes it is obvious that chronic stress is the culprit, and other times, when someone has been living with high stress levels for a long time, they see this as their normal level of functioning and may not even notice how affected they are, or which symptoms are related.
Mindfulness and attention to our health and wellness through guided meditation can allow us to make new connections about our health. A guided meditation practice can introduce a framework for making new and healthier choices in everyday life, leading to lower stress levels and greater fulfillment.
How to Manage Your Stress Levels with Guided Meditation
Guided meditation is a listening meditation that involves a short, guided session that takes you through a series of imaginative scenarios to help you clearly see the past and create a new vision for the future.
Topics vary for guided mediation and can include self-confidence, health, reducing stress levels, and reducing anxiety. Stress is not something that is out of control, but it is something that with attention and patience, can become a motivating factor for positive change in your life.
When we experience high stress or even extreme mental breakdown, we are experiencing a mirror for our actions and our lifestyle. These high-stress times allow us to see where we are pushing our limits and how we can best reel back our energies and actions to something that is more manageable and makes us happier.
Instead of always striving to do more and be better, we can see where we have gone too far and pushed ourselves too hard. We can see where we made compromises and didn’t stay true to our values. Guided meditation allows us to recognize these instances and take note of them without condemning ourselves or wishing for a different outcome.
Instead, we can reflect through guided meditation and create a new understanding of our story and how we came to be in our current situation. Only when we see this clearly can we take insightful action towards a new, positive reality. Practicing guided meditation daily allows for the consistency of change to manifest in our lives throughout the seasons.