How Meditation Reduces Stress


Some months ago, I found myself having to take the Tube during the morning rush hour. Working from home most days means that this is an unusual occurrence, and on my journey I was rudely reminded of some of the unpleasantness my fellow Londoners experience on a frequent, even daily, basis.

Taking the exit escalator at Canary Wharf, I stood to the left to join the slow-moving queue of people wanting to walk up. As I got on and raised my foot to take the first moving step, a young girl pushed past me and unfortunately my foot came down on her heel. Her reaction appeared to be over the top, unnecessary, even poisonous – but for her it was simply the release valve on the pressure cooker doing its work.

The impact of stress

As a meditator and meditation teacher, I instantly recognised someone who was hyper-stressed. By contrast, my meditation practice enables me to deal with stress when it arises, whether it be my own or someone else's. In this instance, it was fascinating to see how her outburst affected everyone nearby. For some, it was something they wished to ignore. For others, it was interesting to see what was happening and what would develop.

It was just two people engaging, but that stress-fuelled interaction will have had an effect on everyone who witnessed or heard it, which will have worked at both overt and subtle levels. Some people might have found it funny or exciting, others may have been embarrassed or have felt awkward. In each instance though, it was another smear of stress to be carried through the day and processed along with all the other stresses which inevitably accumulate during the remaining waking hours.

Cultivating resilience to stress

As Vedic Meditators, our regular practice of two twenty-minute meditations sets us up to handle stress – whether that’s stress which has built up over the past, or stress that is yet to come. New meditators find that in the early days of their practice they experience considerable stress release, often relating to current concerns. Over time, as this stress gets processed, the mind purifies and processes older and more deep-rooted stress. This can have a profound effect on our experience of the world and those around us, making us feel lighter and less encumbered.

Additionally, meditation prepares us for the inevitable stresses which occur as we go about our day-to-day lives, not only making us more resilient to stress, but more capable of dealing with it effectively.

To find out more about Vedic Meditation, how it works, and how it could benefit you, click here to book your free, no-obligation introductory talk in London – we look forward to meeting you!

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Anthony Thompson