Eliminate the Stress
As the aim of meditation is to reach a natural state of relaxation it is a good idea to eliminate stress from your life and environment when beginning a course of meditation. Whilst meditation will help one to foster a more relaxed attitude in their daily lives this will be best achieved in conjunction with changes in their overall approach. Stress can be eliminated as much by changes in diet, pace of work, patterns of speech and environment as by meditation. In this way it will be possible to seamlessly experience the benefits of relaxation learned whilst meditating in your day to day life, whilst changes in your everyday life will impact upon the quality of your meditation. Finally, you will see no distinction between time spent meditating and time spent working, commuting cooking, or whatever, as you will have developed an ongoing awareness of the present moment and your interconnectedness with the wider world.
Factors to ConsiderThere are simple factors that can affect our stress levels. Most of us are aware of most of these. However, many of us do not always address these factors. Let us list these factors, before considering what may hold us back from confronting them:
- Relationship troubles
- Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol consumption
- Loss and Bereavement
- Money matters
These are things that we all know and understand to some extent. It is the kind of wisdom imparted in self help books, in newspaper columns, on television and even in major spiritual texts. However, for some reason, the majority of us are unable to take this wisdom on board all of the time. This is because we cling tightly too many of our worst habits and attitudes out of fear. Negative and stressful thoughts are often used to get through the day. Thus, as we know that drinking and holding on to a failing relationship might be a bad thing, we convince ourselves these behavioural patterns are at least a known evil. What lies around the corner, one often surmises, could be worse than what we currently experience. This basic fear of change is the root of many failings. Meditation can help to shift this fear, as can counselling and psychotherapy. However, a major change in thinking and an elimination of stress ultimately requires an honest look inward and a concerted effort to ‘let go’ and ‘just be’ throughout your whole life, before any therapeutic processes can really take effect. Only then can stress be eliminated in the long term.