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Calm is In, Stress is Out

by Holli Young |

Relax with our latest blog from Louise Ann Knight.

Calm is a natural state within all of us. We slip into it naturally when we are not even thinking about it. Leaning back into that deeper place, before the thoughts form. That is where meditation takes place.

That is where we can deal with stress. Stress can occur as a result of events taking place outside of our own minds and bodies. Yet we experience it through both. In the food we eat, the condition of our hair and skin, our posture and quality of sleep. Meditation, as a regular practise, can help manage and release stress. Like a fashion trend, stress comes and goes. Whereas calm, calm is timeless and natural. Calm is always in.

One of the simplest places to start, is to focus on the breath, using simple exercises. Moments of stillness and visualisations to sharpen our concentration and expand our awareness. When there is still and quiet; concerns, anxieties and feelings push to the surface for attention. This is what most people fear about meditation. That instead of peace they will find everything they do not have the time or strength to deal with. However, this is where meditation helps.

Rather than being distracted by thoughts and feelings, a regular meditation practise allows us to process it so that we can release it. As a preventative aid to stress, it is a daily respite. And in those moments stress does overwhelm – meditation is a foundation for managing and recovering from these moments. It teaches us to trust our own strength, our own stillness. With this practise as part of our self-care, we can better understand and respond to the people and events around us with greater clarity and compassion.

Stress drains our nervous system, causing exhaustion, diminished concentration, creativity and productivity. Blood pressure and emotions rise, shortening the breath which deprives the brain of oxygen. Decision making becomes difficult. Sleep and eating patterns become irregular. Just a few minutes of breathing and sitting in focussed stillness can have an impact on all this; so that we feel rested, replenished and clear-headed. Leading us to make healthier decisions, not only for ourselves, but for the people we interact with.

With meditation, we learn to listen to our mind and body with greater awareness and this makes us more compassionate towards others. As we come to understand how and why we respond to the thoughts and feelings we have, how this governs our choices and therefore our actions; we see similar patterns in other’s behaviour. This fosters understanding which can lead to stronger connections, honest communication and a greater sense of community – at home, in the workplace and out on the streets.

Meditation when practised regularly, builds discipline and supports good health. When we feel better enabled to manage our lives, we are free to try new things, develop skills and make healthier choices. Meditation deepens our connection to the world and those around us. It reminds us that we are connected by the simple act of breathing, and that from this point, we can manage our lives well – even when stress comes our way.

Calm is always in… breathe some calm into your life, with regular meditation.