To be a part of tradition, to seek God through ritual as well as meditation and prayer, gives me a sense of connection. If I am connected, a part of some greater whole, then I am by definition meaningful. – writer Nevada Barr
Tag Archives: meditation
“Stress is anything that throws the body out of balance. it can be the physical stress of an accident, injury, or harsh environmental conditions; a chemical stress from exposure to toxins, pollutants, or chemicals; or emotional/psychological concerns about a job or money, the loss of a loved one, health, or relationships. Anxiety is usually the first emotional alarm warning us about stress. The signs are hyper-vigilance, apprehension, and excessive worry. Anxiety is generally a diffuse, vague, and dreadful feeling. Fear, by contrast, is experienced when a particular object of focus triggers a negative reaction.
. . . Once the stress emergency is over, the endocrine system goes back to its business of cellular restorations, repair, and reproduction. The nervous and immune systems return to business as usually as well. But when the body is continually flooded with stress-related hormones and our behavioral reactions keep repeating the stress stimulus, we have chronic stress. Our bodies are not designed to live under long-term stress.
For the first thirty minutes after the onset of an emergency situation, your system works for you at full force. The brain has an internal timer to stop the body’s stress response after an hour or so. But what if the anxiety or fear continues? More stress chemicals are released and our body becomes overrun with them, resulting in more fears and anxieties. Sound familiar?
. . . Research has found that, if stress continues beyond the sympathetic nervous system’s basic response time of thirty to ninety minutes for dealing with emergency situations, the continual exposure to high levels of stress hormones lasts from three days to two weeks. There needs to be an outlet to release these stress chemicals. A doctor friend of mine says, “Cells need to poop.” We know that relaxation provides release, but all too often how we unwind and relax creates even more stress. The body’s reaction to stress takes a lot of energy and vigilant attention. When it is chronic, it opens the way for disease to take root.
The Effects of Chronic Stress
- Energy is continually diverted
- Immunity becomes compromised
- Digestion is affected
- Blood pressure is chronically raised
- Tissue repair and growth are constantly being turned off
- Energy is diverted from the brain
- Memory and learning are affected
- Neurotransmitter function is compromised
- Toxins attach the brain
Lent is a time for reflection and meditation, however it is also a time for anticipation – and sometimes I suppose the joyful music and celebration may begin a little early – in anticipation of the Risen Christ.
Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.
– Albert Einstein