Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thoughts on The Conscious Lifestyle: Facing Your Stress

Walking meditation in Nature
(Source: http://mettarefuge.wordpress.com)
In this article "The Conscious Lifestyle: Facing Your Stress", I think Deepak Chopra has put the issue of stress in its proper perspective in terms of long-term health because I have heard and read some other articles saying that some stress is good for people. Then again, these articles are probably written from the perspective of living in a modern society where people are expected to perform in work and studies, and see stress as a form of motivation. But Deepak goes deeper into the issue, noting that the primitive fight-or-flight response is an inheritance from our pre-human past, and "No one can healthily sustain the heightened alertness, quick burst of energy, rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and other marks of the fight-or-flight response."

Yes, while our lifestyle may have changed to adapt to a fast pace of living in a modern society, our body remains physiologically and psychologically unchanged, and I have come to learn that our body is designed to function optimally when we are peaceful and rested as much and as often as possible. On looking back in my life, I can see why on some days I would have symptoms such as constipation - it must have been partly due to stress which caused various processes in my body (growth, digestion, oxygenation of muscles, etc) to temporarily shut down.

So I have been learning to be mindful not to allow "normal stresses" such as being stuck in traffic, trying to meet deadlines at work, etc affect my health. As noted in the article, diet, exercise, meditation and stress reduction are ways to manage stress and improve heart conditions (and overall health too).

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