Our day-to-day existence is filled with problems. Every time we solve one, a new one springs up. Pressures of life are so great that they affect us physically and mentally. It’s no wonder we find people undergoing tremendous stresses and strains. Is there any way to attain stress-free living?
We may be struggling financially, trying to make ends meet. A day finally comes when we get a raise, only to find our car has broken down, and the extra money must go for repairs or for new car payments. When we settle that problem, someone in our family may fall ill. Along with that, we may find that we have a problem in our relationship with one of our co-workers. While that is being straightened out, our roof suddenly begins to leak and we need repairs.
After a while we begin to wonder if there will be a time in life when we can be free of problems. We may think we alone have been singled out for misfortune. But if we ask those around us, we find that everyone’s life is also filled with difficulties. It seems there is no end to problems.
Mental and Emotional Stresses of Modern Life
We find that people undergo anxiety, fear, depression, and phobias. Offices of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists are filled with normal, everyday people who cannot cope with life’s struggles. They are unable to deal with their problems. They live in fear of economic disaster. They are trying to handle broken marriages and broken homes. Others have anxiety about the loneliness that may come with the loss of a loved one. Some are so disappointed in life they see no hope for the future.
Stresses and tensions do not just affect our mind and emotions. Research has shown a connection between our mind and our body. Our mental state can cause stress-related illnesses. Studies have shown that when we are angry or emotionally upset, hormones are released in our body that prepare it for “fight or flight.”
Since the norms in our society dictate that we deal with problems calmly and rationally, we tend not to “fight or take flight,” but to face the situation, keeping our feelings bottled up inside.
The result is that the hormones act on our physical body, causing stress-related diseases such as high blood-pressure, heart disease, breathing problems, digestive disorders, headaches, muscle pain, skin rashes, and other related problems. The solution is not necessarily to let out our anger in the form of fighting back or running away, for those reactions can create still more problems for us in our relationships. We need to find some acceptable way to prevent the mental, emotional, and physical effects of stress that are making us ill.
Meditation as a Strategy for Stress-free Living
People are turning to meditation as a solution for the emotional and mental strains of life. Meditation has numerous benefits for our physical and mental well-being. It is safe, effective, and does not cost anything. Once we learn how to meditate, we carry within us a ready remedy that we can use at any time and in any place.
The meditation process helps us on two levels. First, it helps us by bringing about physical relaxation. Second, it puts us in a state where we are absorbed in an enjoyable, blissful experience, and we become oblivious to the problems of the outer world.
Through meditation, we can learn the art of life which can help us overcome life’s stresses and strains. We can discover a way to enjoy relaxation and tranquility.
When we focus on examining our thoughts, we need to evaluate what aspects of ourselves we want to cleanse. We need to understand what is cluttering our minds and hearts and keeping us from opening up to God’s love.
The secret to desires is that it is not the object we desire. It is the mind’s tendency to always be in a state of desire. It leads us into attachment to things of this world. It distracts us from the true purpose of our human life.
We can avoid much of the stress, anxiety, and tension that faces us at the mental level by learning the technique of meditation. Meditation is a way to relieve stress at the mental level and help us have a healthy mind. A healthy mind means that we can deal with the challenges of life in a calm, composed way without it causing us to feel upset, depressed, anxious, fearful, or threatened.
The next time we think things are going badly and that God is not listening to us, we should sit back, take a deep breath, and relax. We should give God a chance to let things happen, and observe patiently. We will find when all is said and done that God worked things out for the best in the end.
How does anger arise? Does it only affect us at the emotional level or do we do physical harm to ourselves when we give in to anger? How can we break free from its grip and what are the benefits of doing so?
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