We've all probably heard at some point in our lives that stress is a silent killer. But are you doing anything about it?
Challenging situations can cause a release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which affects the body in various ways. If not handled appropriately, the buildup of cortisol over time can lead to anxiety, elevated blood sugar, suppressed immunity, increased inflammation, and weight gain.
This hormone is responsible for our fight-or-flight response, which is a primitive built-in autonomic nervous system response designed to protect ourselves during intense situations (i.e. hunting and/or being attacked).
That's enough to make anyone uncomfortable! So what can we do about it?
Meditation helps to activate the “rest and digest system” aka the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of our fight-or-flight response. This can be used as a tool to build-up our adaptability bank to stress. What this means is that the more we meditate, the better we can handle stress so that our body does not automatically respond with releasing cortisol.
Mindfulness is the act of bringing yourself into the present moment. Many people think meditation is too hard or impossible because they think they need to completely stop the mind from thinking. This is, however, not the case. We are human and meditation is simply a tool to observe the happenings in the mind.
Mindfulness meditation helps to redirect the mind whenever thoughts happen. Here are some steps you can take to try it out for yourself: